Urge Republican senators to oppose secret health care bill
Urge Republican senators to oppose secret health care bill
Source Huffington Post
20 June, 2017, 01:31
Folks who got healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act are closely watching as the new healthcare bill is drafted in the Senate - including some who say Obamacare saved their lives.
The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is drawing fire from members of both parties.
Democrats plan to object to routine requests to let the chamber operate - whether it's scheduling votes or allowing committees to meet for extended hearings - in a move aimed at escalating the fight over health care. One of the top priorities of the lieutenant governor, who also serves as president of the Senate, is passage of the controversial "bathroom bill" which is opposed by many brands similar to what occurred in North Carolina.
While none of these measures can hold up the bill indefinitely, the Democratic protests will slow down the Senate business and likely bring more attention to the issue. In a letter to Senate GOP leaders on Monday, Democrats noted that before Obamacare became law in 2010 they held about 100 public meetings on health care, and that the legislation went through the committee process.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to openly discuss the plans.
At one point House Republicans had to pull the bill from the floor because lawmakers in the center and the right of their party were dropping from it.
Senators, even those close to McConnell, say they haven't seen actual legislative text.
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Drug companies, with stifling new regulations and big tax increases, were the least enthusiastic sector of the health care industry that supported Obamacare. Now that word is out that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and team might cut Medicaid even more deeply than the House bill did, we can either assume that they don't give a shit what Trump thinks, or they're lying to him about their bill. McConnell wants a Senate vote before the chamber leaves town for a July 4 recess, giving Democrats scant opportunity to rally resistance against a major bill whose contents are unknown.
The Senate version is expected to end the Medicaid expansion more slowly than the House bill would, and it could include larger tax credits to help older Americans purchase health insurance. "We understand this issue pretty well, and we're now working on coming up with a solution".
A document provided to Kapur by a senior Democratic Senate aide acknowledges that the overall strategy for Senate Democrats is to keep delaying votes as a means to publicly force the Republicans to defend their "no hearings strategy".
Further complicating matters, different sectors within the industry have very different stakes in repealing Obamacare and replacing it with the GOP's plan.
Wyden of OR complained that even his committee's chairman, Orrin Hatch of Utah, was being "cut out" of discussions and that the process had become a "charade".
That's not normal, say nonpartisan health-care analysts and historians.
Now, however, some Republicans fear the comment may actually come back to haunt them.
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