March 25,2015

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Hatch Amendment Helps Guarantee Solvency of Medicare Program

Utah Senator Says, “We have a moral obligation to put Medicare on a sustainable path.”

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today offered an amendment (#796) to S.Con.Res 11, the Senate Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 that would help guarantee the solvency of the nation’s largest entitlement program, Medicare.  The Hatch amendment passed the Senate unanimously by a voice vote.

“In order to save Medicare, we must reform it. Unfortunately, this is a reality the Senate Democrats have ignored,” said Hatch. “We have a moral obligation to put Medicare on a sustainable path.  By ensuring the program’s solvency into the next decade, as this amendment does, we can protect Medicare benefits for seniors today and promise future beneficiaries that they will receive health care in retirement.”

Independent actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that over the next 75 years the Medicare program will have $35 trillion in unfunded obligations. Even more, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that without reforms, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will be insolvent early in the decade following 2025.

The Hatch Amendment establishes a deficit neutral reserve fund (DNRF) to protect Medicare benefits for seniors who rely on the program today and preserve the program for future generations. It allows for the creation of a point of order against legislation that would accelerate insolvency of the Trust Fund.

Hatch has championed efforts in Congress to find bipartisan solutions to reform the nation’s entitlement programs. Last Congress, he put forward five common-sense, bipartisan Medicare reforms as means of both shoring up Medicare for seniors and for bringing down the nation’s more than $18 trillion debt.