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 HatchDACA remains in place, but Dreamers still in limbo Bottom line Bottom line 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 CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyReady Responders CEO Justin Dangel stresses importance of Medicaid population; Fauci says he won't attend Trump rally this weekend Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights Harrison goes on the attack against Graham in new South Carolina Senate ad Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police 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 WydenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic proposal to extend 0 unemployment checks Senate Democrats offer plan to extend added jobless benefits during pandemic Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats 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.