Democrats to halt Senate business in health care protest

AFL-CIO launches big phone campaign vs. Senate GOP’s stealth health bill
Trump and Mc Connell shake hands at the White House. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP
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20 June, 2017

The House passed the American Health Care Act in early May in a dramatic and sudden vote after abandoning a similar effort in March.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate with no mention of when the GOP would unveil its bill or bring it to a vote.

The GOP's secretive process marks a sharp departure from the traditional way the Senate has developed large, complex bills, which are often debated for years with multiple committee hearings to ensure broad input and careful analysis.... A win for Democrat Jon Ossoff could be seen as a stark warning to President Donald Trump and the GOP Obamacare repeal efforts. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. "So the first step in this may be crafted among a small group of people, but then everyone's going to get to weigh in".

Democratic lawmakers are fed up with the Republicans keeping their healthcare bill secret.

Democrats' coordinated effort doesn't actually stall any work that's being done on the bill; it's considered more a night of theatrics for Democrats. The state now has 187,000 people on Medicaid under the expanded program for adults. Slowing the annual growth rate would further reduce the federal funds that states receive to cover their Medicaid enrollees. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office manages to estimate its cost on the federal budget and effect on people's health-care coverage.

BENNETT: Yeah, the thing is, Republicans aren't openly objecting to it the way Democrats are. The Affordable Care Act boosted the Medicaid population by more than 60 percent, with total enrollment standing at 787,110 in March. But the specifics in their bill have been closely guarded.

Indeed, Republicans have continued to butt up against an impossible task: they must either remove millions from their healthcare, or they must admit that preexisting conditions is a vital, unremovable part of American healthcare in 2017. Doing it that way only requires a simple majority vote, meaning at least 50 of the 52 Republican senators would have to vote for it.

Lee Reynis, a researcher and economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at The University of New Mexico, is not surprised by those numbers.

It's still not clear when that plan will be made public.

Schumer got Joni Ernst to admit that the Affordable Care Act got 25 days of hearings and 169 hours of consideration. And retaining those insurance gains is the challenge ahead, she said.

"I have been frustrated with the lack of transparency and the lack of visibility that we are having in this process", Daines said. You can't just flip a switch on any of this stuff. Numerous problems facing the ACA could have been fixed over the years since Republicans gained majority control of the Senate and House, Tester asserts.

While the GOP has railed against Obamacare for years, there's one pillar of the health care law that plenty of Republican lawmakers now say is pivotal for their constituents: Medicaid expansion. "There have been gazillions of hearings on this subject when [Democrats] were in the majority, when we were in the majority".


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