More than a month after the American Health Care Act went to the Senate for rewrites, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s pushing to get it voted on before the July 4 recess. The problem with that? No one’s seen it.
The bill’s being worked on behind closed doors, with only top Republicans receiving access to its content. Other senators, like Rand Paul, said explicitly that they hadn’t seen it and didn’t know the contents of it. And now it turns out McConnell’s plan is to take the bill straight from the Congressional Budget Office after being scored to the Senate floor for a 10-hour debate before putting it to a vote.
That’s it. There will be 10 whole hours between the time the CBO releases their score of the bill and the time the senate casts their vote on it, leaving absolutely no time for Americans understand the bill’s impact, contact their representatives and voice their opinion on the bill’s contents.
This is intentional on McConnell’s part. He wants to protect Republican senators from being swayed by their constituents, because heaven forbid a representative vote based on what his people want rather than what the party wants. And specifically, he wants to keep Republican senators from hearing phone calls about and from the millions of Americans who rely heavily or entirely on Medicaid.
That’s because this current bill is going to cut it significantly - possibly by $800 billion, maybe more in an effort to avoid chargeback fraud. Republicans think Medicaid is a massive inefficient waste of money and that Americans should suck it up, lose it and deal until they come up with a “better solution,” whatever that may be.
But Medicaid is for children in poverty. It’s for elderly people on a fixed income. It’s for the unemployed and disabled, and none of those people will be able to just deal while they wait for a better solution. Their needs don't wait. Their health crises won’t be put off for several months to a year in order for the Republican party to come up with an unspecified better plan. In some places in the country, more than 80 percent of children 5 years old or younger are enrolled in Medicaid. It cannot be emphasized how critical this healthcare option is.
So in order to avoid hearing any constituents call them and explain that they will die without this critical healthcare, Republicans are going to shove it through with little to no public debate.
This is a massive contrast to how Obamacare was passed - it went through over 100 public hearings and received 161 amendments from Republicans before being passed. But Republicans don’t even want to let Democrats take a look at the bill before their brief debate and vote.
This blatant double standard tells you all you need to know about what Republicans are thinking. They don’t want this bill scrutinized. They don’t want this bill discussed. The less time the public sees it, the better. The only reason they would hide is it if they had something shameful inside.
Comments are closed on this story.