Republicans Work On Health Care Bill in Secret

After much criticism to the forming of the Affordable Care Act in 2009/2010 regarding it being made in secrecy, it seems as though Republicans have borrowed the strategy for a health care bill that has finally become public this morning and is looking to be passed next week.

With this short time frame, senators are likely to only have a few days to make a decision. After the written portion of the bill was released this morning, conclusions can be drawn as to why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to keep it under wraps: because it is unpopular.

The bill that even has some Republicans upset is expected to, “phase out Medicaid expansion starting 2021, defund Planned Parenthood for 1 year, eliminate waivers for pre-existing conditions protections, [and] add new waivers that could affect essential health benefits,” according to CNN.

In the Republican party’s strong effort to repeal Obamacare, the bill is set to make major changes to our current health care system. One being eliminating, “…Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers, and others,” said CNN.

The secrecy in which this bill was developed has infuriated many Democrats and Republicans as well. When the Democrats were being accused of the same thing Senator McConnell had said that the Democrats were, “…taking the partisan route.”

Mike Pence tweeted in 2009, “It’s simply wrong for legislation that’ll affect 100% of the American people to be negotiated behind closed doors.”

Senator John McCain had also tweeted, “Democrats about to pass health care bill that no one’s read- where is the transparency? What a disgrace!”

So, if the Republicans felt so strongly about it then, why did they do it now?

Amber Phillips from The Washington Post puts it this way, “The more an unpopular bill marinates, the more time you have for the opposition to stew,” and Senator McConnell made that time very limited.

McConnell’s decision to keep the bill a secret was intentional. He knew that he would only need Republican votes. “They made it clear they’re[democrats] not interested in helping,” said McConnell. Now Republicans can only afford to lose two votes in order to get the bill passed.

McConnell also knew that it would upset a lot of people, being as though they are trying to legislate on one of the most controversial issues in America. Senator Charles Schumer goes to Twitter after the written portion was publicized to let out some anger.

“Last week, President Trump called the @HouseGOP repeal plan, “mean.” I couldn’t agree more. This healthcare bill IS mean,” Schumer tweeted. He also tweeted, “Cutting Medicaid to the bone is mean. Cutting treatment for opioid abuse is mean. Cutting support for people in nursing homes is mean!”

Yes, Trump did call the bill “mean” but he also has very high hopes for the success of the bill. At least it came off that way at his rally on Wednesday night in Iowa when he said, “I hope we are going to surprise you with a really good plan…You know I’ve been talking about a plan with heart. I said add some money to it. A plan with heart, but Obamacare is dead.”

  • Contributed by Briana Wright

WHUR Contributor

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