Hatch Statement at Finance Markup of Bipartisan Healthcare Bills

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today delivered the following opening statement at a Committee markup considering twelve bipartisan healthcare bills:

I want to welcome members of the committee to this Executive Business Meeting on various pieces of healthcare legislation. 

This markup is a continuation of a process we began earlier this year when the committee considered and reported a number of various tax bills.  I believe that markup was a big success and I think that most of my colleagues here on the committee would agree with me.  We were able to blaze some new trails with that process to allow the committee to consider and report more bills to the floor.  I’m pleased to continue that process here today as we turn our focus to healthcare legislation. 

I will note that this is the sixth markup we’ve had here in the Finance Committee so far this year. 

Up to now, we’ve reported 24 separate pieces of legislation, all of them with bipartisan support.  Assuming we report all twelve items included in the mark today, that number will grow to 36. 

I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to be so productive and I will note that it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone on the committee. 

I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

The bills included in today’s mark address just about every area of health care, ranging from rural community hospital demonstrations to preventing interruptions in physical therapy, and from quality care for moms and babies to preventing and reducing improper Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.  Each of these issues is important and I know they represent high priorities for members of the committee.

I hope we can move through consideration of these bills today smoothly and quickly.  That said, I hope to be able accommodate any members of the committee that might have concerns they want to raise. 

In the end, I hope we’ll be able to report all 12 of these bills without much controversy or opposition and, once again, with bipartisan support.