Orrin Hatch Lays Down The Gauntlet: Obamacare Taxes Must Go Immediately

One of the central questions in the battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that Republicans have been grappling with since the election is what to do with the law’s taxes. Republicans have spent six years railing against those taxes, which could provide crucial revenue to finance a replacement plan.

“My view is this: After spending seven years talking about the harm being caused by these taxes, it’s difficult to switch gears now and decide that they’re fine so long as they’re being used to pay for our healthcare bill,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Wednesday during an event at the Chamber of Commerce, according to the Hill. “All of the Obamacare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

Republicans have been deeply divided over the issue in recent weeks, and ACA taxes were a key point of discussion during the party’s retreat last week in Philadelphia. No decisions had been made by the end of last week.

However, as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch’s announcement is notable and may indicate a shift occurring within the Republican Party to go forward with a plan to eradicate the taxes right away.

“We need to definitively answer the question about what to do with the ObamaCare taxes,” Hatch said, as quoted by The Hill. “Some have argued that we should keep all or some of them in place and use them to pay for our eventual replacement package.”

Health care experts have warned that scrapping the taxes immediately could significantly restrict any GOP efforts to replace the ACA down the line. Without the revenue from those taxes, Republicans eventually would have to raise taxes on their own unless, as Hatch’s announcement may be signaling, they don’t plan to roll out a significant replacement package at all.

Republicans have struggled to find any consensus on a replacement for the ACA. Earlier this month Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) unveiled their own plan, but it’s been widely rebuked by conservatives because it kept ACA taxes in place to pay for the replacement.

Republicans have argued they must wait until Trump’s Health and Human Services nominee, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), is in place before they can settle on a game plan for repealing and replacing the health care law, but Hatch’s comments may indicate the direction the GOP is leaning toward.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: