Press Releases

Press releases are archived according to their release date. For press releases by topic, please see the Issue Positions page.

“Over the last few months I’ve held countless meetings with Utahns on healthcare. I’ve met with patient groups, disabilities groups, providers, and healthcare experts to gain a better understanding of our states unique needs. I believe this discussion draft reflects those needs.” 

Washington, D.C.— Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today released the following statement regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 discussion draft: 

“For the past seven years, Obamacare’s high costs and burdensome mandates have had devastating effects on the American economy, small businesses and middle-class families trying to find affordable, quality care. Today, after years of discussions and hearings, Senate Republicans are putting forth solutions to rescue the American people from this devastating law. The discussion draft released today is an important step in our effort to replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms that address costs, provide more choices, and ultimately put Americans – not Washington – back in charge of their health care. Over the last few months I’ve held countless meetings with Utahns on healthcare. I’ve met with patient groups, disabilities groups, providers, and healthcare experts to gain a better understanding of our states unique healthcare needs. I believe this discussion draft reflects those needs.”

[Video Via YouTube]

“The Better Care Reconciliation Act maintains protections for those with pre-existing conditions. It repeals the burdensome individual and employer mandates, gets rid of the Obamacare taxes, and helps to stabilize collapsing insurance markets – all to make health insurance more affordable. The proposal strengthens Medicaid, giving states the flexibility to implement healthcare programs that best meet their needs and levels the playing field between expansion and non-expansion states. It further preserves coverage for children with disabilities and individuals with substance use disorders and mental illness. And, it does not touch Americans’ Medicare benefits. While this discussion draft will help move the effort forward, I will continue to review this proposal and work with my colleagues to provide better care for all Americans.”

Hatch Secures Critical Utah Victories in Healthcare Bill

  • A stabilized insurance market that will provide for more options and lower premiums
  • Continued coverage for Utahns with preexisting conditions
  • Continued coverage for dependents until age 26
  • Special coverage for children with disabilities that have high medical costs
  • Preventative health benefits for children throughout the bill
  • Increased state flexibility to care for people with mental health and substance use disorders
  • New flexibilities for hospitals and funding to care for poor Utahns

Most importantly, the bill repeals Obamacare, which has raised healthcare premiums in Utah an average of 30 percent and limited Utahns in a majority of counties to just one insurance provider. President Obama’s disastrous healthcare program has also reduced Utahns’ quality of life and increased out-of-pocket expenses. In response, the Republican plan seeks to lower costs and increase flexibility, giving Utahns more freedom to spend their hard-earned income. It also repeals Obamacare taxes and the individual mandate, empowering states to tailor programs to meet their needs instead of forcing them to accept a one-size-fits-all government plan.

Senator Hatch spoke about this critical effort on the Senate floor yesterday.

[Video Via YouTube]

Overview of the Senate Republican Health Care Discussion Draft 

  • Help stabilize collapsing insurance markets that have left millions of Americans with no options.
  • Short-Term Stabilization Fund: To help balance premium costs and promote more choice in insurance markets throughout the country, this stabilization fund would help address coverage and access disruption – providing $15 billion per year in 2018 and 2019; $10 billion per year in 2020 and 2021.
  • Cost-Sharing Reductions: Continues federal assistance – through 2019 – to help lower health care costs for low-income Americans in the individual market.
  • Free the American people from the onerous Obamacare mandates that require them to purchase insurance they don’t want or can’t afford.
  • Repeals the individual and employer mandates.
  • Improve the affordability of health insurance, which keeps getting more expensive under Obamacare.
  • Long-Term State Innovation Fund: Dedicates $62 billion, over 8 years, to encourage states to assist high-cost and low-income individuals to purchase health insurance by making it more affordable.
  • Tax Credits: Targeted tax credits will help defray the cost of purchasing insurance; these advanceable and refundable credits - adjusted for income, age and geography - will help ensure those who truly need financial assistance can afford a health plan.
  • Health Savings Accounts: Expanded tax-free Health Savings Accounts to give Americans greater flexibility and control over medical costs; increased contribution limits to help pay for out-of-pocket health costs and to help pay for over-the-counter medications.
  • Repeals Obamacare Taxes: Repeal costly Obamacare taxes that contribute to premium increases and hurt life-saving health care innovation, like the taxes on health insurance, prescription drugs, medical devices, and “high-cost” employer sponsored plans.
  • Empowers states through state innovation waivers (Obamacare 1332 Waiver): Provide states additional flexibility to use waivers that exist in current law to decide the rules of insurance and ultimately better allow customers to buy the health insurance they want.  Allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fast-track applications from states experiencing an Obamacare emergency.
  • Preserve access to care for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and allow children to stay on their parents’ health insurance through age 26. (There are no changes to current law as it applies to Veterans, Medicare, or Social Security benefits.)
  • Strengthen Medicaid for those who need it most by giving states more flexibilitywhile ensuring that those who rely on this program won’t have the rug pulled out from under them.
  • Targets Medicaid to Those Most in Need: In 2021, begins gradual reductions in the amount of federal Obamacare funds provided to expand Medicaid, restoring levels of federal support to preexisting law by 2024 while providing fairness for non-expansion states.
  • New Protection for the Most Vulnerable:  Guarantees children with medically complex disabilities will continue to be covered. 
  • Provides additional state flexibility to address the substance abuse and mental health crisis.
  • Flexibilities for Governors:  Allows states to choose between block grant and per-capita support for their Medicaid population beginning in 2020, with a flexibility in the calculation of the base year.  Allows states to impose a work requirement on non-pregnant, non-disabled, non-elderly individuals receiving Medicaid.
  • New Protections for Taxpayers: Curbs Medicaid funding gimmicks that drive up federal costs.