Dems say they'll slow Senate work over secretive care bill

Posted June 20, 2017

A senior Democratic aide says the effort will begin Monday evening.

Kapur notes that Democrats plan to proactively use unanimous consent requests themselves in order to try and force Trumpcare discussions over to a Senate committee where public hearings can then be held.

The window is quickly closing if Senate Republicans want to vote on a health care bill before the July 4 recess.

Democrats object to closed-door meetings that Republicans have held in recent weeks to craft legislation to replace Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to openly discuss the plans.

Most Republican members also haven't seen the bill text and, as a result, conservatives are fearful their promises to constituents won't be included in the bill.

While Obamacare was under consideration, McConnell had strong words for the Democratic majority's tactics. Other taxes, though, like the tax on medical equipment makers and the tax on health care insurers are likely to be jettisoned.

But Senate Republicans who hail from states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare say that would cut off vital resources for some of their most vulnerable constituents much too abruptly.

We know House Republicans' health-care bill was a total political dud.

A major point of contention is how deeply and quickly to cut the federal funding for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which helped millions of people gain health insurance.

Given the fact that the AHCA has consistently polled dismally, with many polls showing a majority of Americans disapprove of the House bill, the comments from Trump appear to be another concern that the healthcare debate could harm Republicans in the 2018 midterms.

"Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they're ashamed of it, plain and simple", Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. McConnell will use the rules on budget reconciliation to allow the bill to be approved with 50 votes, thereby avoiding the need for 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and end debate. Democrats have gotten sparse attendance at press conferences to highlight the House bill's impact on Obamacare's insurance exchanges, Medicaid funds for opioid treatment, and women's health.

Democrats are also telegraphing a series of parliamentary inquiries from their chamber desks to the presiding officer that they hope will show a contrast in the legislative process used to advance what became the 2010 health care overhaul law and the current process.

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".

"Our health-care system affects every single American and one-sixth of our economy", Schumer wrote. They may well be considering more extended and more controversial extended action like holding up committee hearings on other issues or delaying confirmations.

Instead, Republicans set up a group of about a dozen lawmakers - originally, none of them were women - to come up with something more moderate.