When speaking after a meeting of the Senate health care working group, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had some rather blunt words regarding the public's reception of the American Health Care Act (ACHA) moving forward.
According to a report by CNN, Hatch said that “the public wants every dime they can be given. Let's face it, once you get them on the dole, they'll take every dime they can. We've got to find some way of getting things under control or this country and your future is going to be gone.”
This comment from the senator from Utah comes in reference to an alleged sentiment among Republicans that some Americans may be hesitant to give up certain provisions made under Obamacare (ACA), such as the expansion of Medicaid in some states.
It should be noted that Hatch is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees health care and Medicaid.
The meeting of the health care working group at the Capital on Tuesday sees Senate Republicans trying to draft legislation that will allow the AHCA to pass without the support of Democrats.
One Democrat, though, wasn't amused by Hatch's remarks.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) slammed Hatch by saying that “people who are getting access to health care are not on the dole. ”They are working families. They are, by circumstances most of us hope we don't get into, have a very seriously ill child or spouse. This is America. Certainly, we don't call people who need health care, people who are on the dole."
The adjustments that may or may not be made to Medicaid coverage are proving to be a major sticking point in the negotiations of the AHCA where Senate Republicans are concerned.
Many from more moderate states and those that are populated largely by low-income Americans are fighting against any changes to Medicaid coverage. More conservative senators, though, are looking at the repeal as a means of saving the government money.