November 14,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Blasts New Billion Dollar Government Health Care Grant Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today blasted the Obama Administration’s new $1 billion government grant program to find ways to reduce health care spending.

 “Another billion dollar government program won’t fix the President’s broken promise that his $2.6 trillion health law would lower health care costs,“ said Hatch. “Our nation is broke, and taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for something that the private sector is already doing – namely trying to grapple with sky-rocketing health care costs made worse by the partisan health law. This Administration refuses to learn what every American understands - you do not save money by spending more money.”

The new $1 billion grant program, known as the Health Care Innovation Challenge, would be administered by the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Citing concerns over the Innovation Center’s potential duplicative programs and its financial threat to Medicare and Medicaid, Hatch has requested more information and analysis from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Given the number of questions that have been raised about whether funding for the Innovation Center is being effectively spent, I have serious concerns with them being at the helm of this new program,” said Hatch. “Moving forward, the Administration is going to have to contend with very stringent oversight on how the program’s funds will be awarded and who will be eligible for the awards. American tax payers deserve nothing less. ”