We Can Afford Massive Tax Cuts For Rich, Can’t Afford Healthcare For Kids, Says Heartless Hatch
Hatch thinks Republicans should prioritize Rich tax cuts over children’s healthcare
On Tuesday we reported on a very disturbing development concerning the Republican Party’s fiscal activities, and that was their refusal to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. It had expired in late September and the Republican majority had chosen to focus on pushing forward their disastrous Obamacare replacement, the Graham-Cassidy Bill. However, since the Graham-Cassidy Bill was ultimately shelved, Republicans have found a new excuse for not renewing funding for CHIP, and that is the new tax bill.
This proposal, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, has, like other Republican proposals, been met with nothing short of universal negativity from objective analytical sources. The US Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, or JCT, itself has found that, if passed, the law would add about $1 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, while giving the richest Americans a large tax cut.
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And yet, according to President pro tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch, that is perfectly fine and affordable, whereas getting CHIP’s less than $15 billion/year investment would be too expensive at the moment. Responding to Senator Sherrod Brown’s questioning of why the CHIP renewal was not getting more attention, Hatch had this to say.
“We’re going to do CHIP, there’s no question about it in my mind. It has to be done the right way. But we–the reason CHIP is having trouble is because we don’t have money anymore. We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.”
This refusal to get CHIP’s funding renewed will become a major problem because millions of families rely on the program to subsidize their health insurance costs, and the funding from the Obama Administration will start running out for states in January 2018. Congress will enter its recess in mid-December and will not exit it till early January, meaning children will get hurt unless Congress acts now.
The sad truth about this situation is that Hatch was one of the co-sponsors of the CHIP legislation back in 1997, along with then-Senator Ted Kennedy. Which leaves the question, has Hatch’s moral compass shifted its poles in the twenty years since?
Watch the exchange between Hatch & Brown:
Featured photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
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