Finance Hearing Statement: The Department of Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on the committee hearing on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fiscal year 2018 budget request.

“I am troubled that the Trump Administration and my Republican colleagues in Congress have been working behind closed doors to pass a health care bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), will cause 23 million Americans to lose their health insurance and access to health care. With no public hearings, and no real effort to communicate, collaborate or compromise with Democrats, this administration and Republicans in Congress have devised a plan to cut funding to Medicaid by more than $800 billion over ten years and force seniors to endure an 800 percent increase in their health insurance premiums.

“The president has said repeatedly that he wants to force Democrats to the table on health care reform. Well, the truth is that I, and many of my colleagues, have been at the table since before the Affordable Care Act was passed, and we’ve been stood up for the last eight years. It’s clear that this administration’s real game plan is to force this sham of a health care bill across the finish line by sabotaging the insurance marketplace, jeopardizing the health of every American along the way.

“I implore my colleagues to see that political expedience must never come at the cost of the health and wellbeing of the American people. Our constituents sent us here to work together to solve the greatest challenges facing our country. I call on the president and Leader McConnell to turn away from this partisan bill, choosing instead to work Republicans and Democrats, and invest the time necessary to get health care reform right.”

Six months into the 115th Congress, the Senate Finance Committee has not yet held a hearing or business meeting on health care reform. No hearings on the subject are scheduled. During the first three months of the 111th Congress, the Senate Finance Committee held 15 hearings and two subcommittee hearings, ranging from health care reform to middle class tax relief—including eight hearings on the Affordable Care Act (ACA): 

The Senate Finance Committee of the 111th Congress also held eight days and 56 hours of business meetings to consider the Affordable Care Act. One hundred and seven amendments were considered.