Just a couple of days after he patronized Native Americans over the Bears Ears National Monument, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch insulted the rest of the American public.
Hatch, who, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has jurisdiction over Medicaid and other health care issues, brushed aside critics’ concerns over the Republicans’ new health care plan.
“The public wants every dime they can be given. I mean face it, once you get them on the dole they’re going to take every dime they can,” said Hatch, defending the GOP’s plan to decrease accessibility of health insurance for up to 24 million Americans.
The Utah senator made the demeaning comments immediately after leaving a meeting of Republican senators to discuss Medicaid, the subsidized health coverage programs for low-income Americans.
The American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare, effectively cuts $840 billion dollars from Medicaid over the next 10 years, because the cost of the program was "out of control," according to Hatch, and the GOP needed to curb it.
“We’ve got to find some way of getting things under control or this country in the near future is going to be gone,” Hatch added.
However, this substantial cut to the program will be extremely alarming, especially in states where Medicaid has expanded under Obamacare in order to insure millions of people.
Meanwhile, Trumpcare is quite unpopular with Americans. According to a HuffPo/YouGiv poll, less than one-third of the public supports the new health care act while 44 percent oppose it. The AHCA would reform the health care structure by changing it to a block grant and that would enable the Trump administration to cut the $840 billion funding.
Hatch’s comment suggests Republicans believe Americans will be unwilling to give up (understandably so) the benefits provided under Obamacare.
Democrats and liberals were quick to call out the senator on his insensitivity.
“People who are getting access to health care are not on the dole,” said Sen. Patty Murray. “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.”
I am running against Orrin Hatch in Utah who, with 12 other men, is concocting a separate ominous Senate "Health Plan." @2020fight— James Singer (@urbannavajo) May 6, 2017
.@OrrinHatch you got elected when I was two. I'm an old man. Get off the government dole and get a real job like the rest of us. Thanks.— Derik Stevenson (@derikstevenson) May 9, 2017
#orrinhatch Just retire and let people with intelligence do your job. Take my word for it.— Carolyn Gordon (@CarolyngordonMo) May 10, 2017