If you support Obamacare, then Republican U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch says you’re a “dumbass.”
Hatch, a senator from Utah since 1977, made the comments on Thursday while speaking before the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, according to the Deseret News. He was talking about the tax reform bill and how it got rid of the health care law’s individual mandate that required people to receive health insurance or pay a fine.
Hatch said Republicans “finally did away with the individual mandate tax that was established under that wonderful bill called Obamacare.”
“Now, if you didn’t catch on, I was being very sarcastic,” he continued, as seen in a YouTube video of the speech. “That was the stupidest, dumbass bill that I’ve ever seen. Now some of you may have loved it.
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“If you do, you are one of the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met. And there are a lot of them up on Capitol Hill from time to time.”
Matt Whitlock, a Hatch spokesman, later told Utah television station KSL that the senator was only kidding. “The comments were obviously made in jest, but what’s not a joke is the harm Obamacare has caused for countless Utahns,” Whitlock said.
Commonly referred to as Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama in 2010.
It remains the law of the land, even though the individual mandate was removed when President Donald Trump signed the GOP tax reform bill earlier this year.
According to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, support for the law has reached an all-time high.
Fifty-four percent of respondents in the Kaiser poll said they have a favorable view of Obamacare — including 83 percent of Democrats — while 78 percent of Republicans still view the law unfavorably.