Hatch: ‘Nearly Impossible’ to Pass Graham-Cassidy Bill

Sen. Orrin Hatch / Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch / Getty Images

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Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said Monday that it is "nearly impossible" for the Graham-Cassidy bill to pass and replace ObamaCare.

"It’s nearly impossible. I’m not saying anything is impossible, because we could always maybe work it out in the end, but so far I haven’t seen any," Hatch told reporters, Bloomberg reporters.

The so-called Graham-Cassidy bill, named for authors Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.), would repeal and replace ObamaCare, devolving much of the responsibility for healthcare to the states. Senate Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass the bill with a simple majority of 51 votes under reconciliation.

Hatch's finance committee held the only scheduled hearing for the bill on Monday. Protesters interrupted Hatch at the beginning hearing, chanting "don't touch the Medicaid, save our liberty."

A recently revised version of the bill will give more federal funding to Alaska, Arizona, and Kentucky. The revisions came after Republican senators John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Rand Paul (Ky.) expressed opposition to its current form. McCain, Paul and Collins have explicitly said they will not back the bill.

Murkowski remains on the fence, but was, along with McCain and Collins, one of the Republican votes that crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats to block "skinny repeal" in July.

Charles Russell

Charles Russell   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Russell is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining the Beacon he worked at America Rising and has spent several years on multiple campaigns. Charles can be reached at russell@freebeacon.com, his twitter handle is @charleswrussell.

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