How Sen. Orrin Hatch’s replacement could shake up the healthcare debate

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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will retire at the end of the year, and his potential replacement could have a significant impact on debates over future healthcare legislation, according to The New York Times.

Mitt Romney, who previously served as governor of Massachusetts and was the Republican candidate for president in 2008, has not yet officially placed a bid to run for Mr. Hatch's seat, but he is considered to be the frontrunner to replace Mr. Hatch, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

As governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney helped create a statewide healthcare system that served as the model for the ACA. It is unclear whether Mr. Romney would support future Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, similar to the legislation that passed the House in the early summer but stalled in the Senate. Mr. Romney has also been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

The already slim Republican majority was cut down to 51 votes in December after Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., was elected in a special election.

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