February 28,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier. 202.224.4515

Hatch on Administration’s Latest Health Law PR Stunt

Utah Senator Says “State Flexibility in ObamaCare Does Not Exist - Not Now, Not 5 years From Now, Not Ten Years From Now”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today after the Obama Administration falsely claimed that it is providing states with more flexibility under the $2.6 trillion health law:

“Despite the Administration’s claims, state flexibility under ObamaCare does not exist – not now, not 5 years from now, not ten years from now.  Telling states that so long as they meet the law’s budget-busting, onerous requirements, they can opt out is not flexibility.  Just ask the nation’s Governors who are seeking real relief from the costs and mandates that are being imposed on them. States don’t need more press releases and talking points, they need action from Washington to reduce the burdens of this disastrous law.”

The Administration is merely supporting a date change that moves the so-called state waiver in the health law from 2017 to 2014.  It does nothing to address the law’s major structural flaws:

• This date shift gimmick does nothing to address the fundamental failure of the law: reducing skyrocketing health care spending.

• Under the waivers, states would not be able to change the onerous benefit mandates in order to make coverage more affordable. 

• States would still have to provide Washington-dictated coverage that would limit the use of innovative health care products like HSAs or other consumer-directed plans.

• The waivers do not give relief to states newly burdened with billions of dollars in new Medicaid spending mandates.