US Democrats Protest Senate Republican Healthcare Secrecy

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

According to a senior Senate Democratic aide, there might be some exceptions for honorary resolutions, but the Democrats seem intent on slowing down the bulk of business.

Democrats are citing the lack of transparency in the process, blasting Republicans in the upper chamber for opting against holding committee hearings on the bill, Politico reports.

Asked whether that could include halting Senate work to protest, Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, said they must do everything they can to highlight the "insane" and secretive approach to drafting the bill."I am in favor of the American people and members of Congress doing everything that we can to defeat that horrific piece of legislation", Sanders said yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell established a 13-person working group to rework the House-passed legislation. The Kentucky Republican says former President Barack Obama's health care law has been failing since its 2010 enactment and there's no reason to wait to erase it.

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

McConnell will need to win the votes of 50 of the 52 GOP senators to push the bill through the Senate. It would cut Medicaid by $834 billion over a decade, repeal $664 billion of Obamacare's tax increases on the wealthy and the health-care industry, and end requirements that individuals get health insurance and that most employers provide it. They called for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a Senate vote, which Republicans say could come in the next two weeks, although a draft bill has yet to emerge publicly.

They held the Senate floor for several hours late Monday and promised to use procedural tactics to slow the Senate's work in an effort to focus attention on the Republican effort.

Heller is the one Republican senator up for reelection in 2018 from a state that backed Hillary Clinton for president previous year.

Chip Saltsman, a Republican strategist, told The Hill that Republicans must face their constituents back home if they go to recess without healthcare reform or other major legislation passed.

Rep. Greg Walden of OR, who helped shepherd the party's health-care overhaul bill through the House last month, sat down with Louise Radnofsky, The Wall Street Journal's White House reporter, to offer his take on where the effort stands.

Analysts said 23 million more Americans would be without health care under the House bill.

Other reports by iNewsToday