Speed Reads

health-care battle

Orrin Hatch: The Senate is 'too divided' to pass a health-care bill anytime soon

Despite Senate Republicans failing three times last week to pass a health-care bill, President Trump is urging the GOP to keep pushing for a plan — something Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says just can't happen right now.

"There's just too much animosity and we're too divided on health care," he told Reuters Monday. "I think we ought to acknowledge that we can come back to health care afterwards but we need to move ahead on tax reform." Trump campaigned on replacing ObamaCare with something he said would be better, and Hatch said he thinks he'll be telling the Trump administration, along with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), that it's time to move on.

Trump has also been threatening to cut off the ObamaCare exchange subsidies, and Hatch said lawmakers would need to appropriate those payments. "I'm for helping the poor, always have been," he told Reuters. "And I don't think they should be bereft of health care."