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Finance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill

Finance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Monday on the latest effort to repeal ObamaCare as Republicans eye a potential vote next week. 

“A hearing will allow members on both sides of the aisle to delve deeper into its policy and gain a better understanding of what the authors hope to achieve,” Finance Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Press: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead! MORE (R-Utah) said in a statement.

He noted that senators “have expressed a strong desire” to hold a public hearing on the bill. 

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The legislation from GOP Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan Sunday shows - Biden economic agenda dominates MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE (R-S.C.) is gaining momentum in the Senate ahead of an end-of-month deadline for Republicans to try to nix the Affordable Care Act with a simple majority. 

After September 30, Republicans would have to get through a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, which is an almost certain insurmountable obstacle.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenPutting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states Pallone commits to using 'whatever vehicle I can' to pass Democrats' drug pricing bill MORE (D-Ore.), the panel’s ranking member, said on the Senate floor that he was not consulted about the hearing.

“Contrary to the norms of the Senate Finance Committee, I was not consulted in this matter as the ranking Democrat,” he said. 

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal much of ObamaCare, ending funding for Medicaid’s expansion and the healthcare law’s subsidies that help people buy insurance. In their place, block grants would be given to states.

The bill does not appear to have the 50 votes needed for passage, though its supporters say it is garnering support. If it can get to 50, Vice President Pence could break a tie vote.

The Finance Committee is the second Senate panel to announce they will have a hearing related to the new GOP ObamaCare repeal bill. 

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next week on using block grants to try to reduce healthcare costs. 

GOP leadership came under criticism, including from some members of their own caucus, for not holding a public hearing on their initial ObamaCare repeal and replace effort that failed in July.