Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Dems' motions, speeches knock GOP health bill for secrecy

The public, and most Senators, don't know what's in the bill.

Senate Democrats have vowed to "hold the floor" and bring Senate business to a standstill in an effort to prevent the Republican-approved healthcare bill that would effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act. Explaining the twisted logic of lawmakers who seem to have forgotten that they serve the public, CNN writes, "Reveal it too soon and criticism from outside conservative groups, independent reviews, and Democrats could have the bill unravel before it hits the floor".

"I think this is a really interesting discussion, but I think it's totally irrelevant to the most important discussion that's happening right now, which is not in this committee", Murphy said during that hearing.

Speaking during a Senate talkathon in which Democrats protested GOP senators' closed-door efforts to shape their own legislation, the freshman senator compared the two bills. He said the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, knows people can't attack what they can't see, and drafting the Senate health care bill behind closed doors is the most expedient way for Republicans to arrive at the minimum votes they need to pass it. A Democratic victory could jolt the debate by raising new questions about President Trump and the Republican agenda, in which health care is playing a feature role.

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Liberal activists have been urging Schumer and other Senate Democrats to adopt the last-ditch strategy for weeks.

They also forced McConnell to turn aside requests to require Senate committees to debate and vote on the measure, a step in the legislative process that GOP leaders have foregone.

BENNETT: Well, they're using parliamentary maneuvers to slow down the business of the Senate, and I'm told Democrats are planning to hold the Senate floor until at least midnight by delivering a series of floor speeches.

Luis Perez, president and CEO of Mental Health Connecticut, said, "The American Health Care Act should really be renamed the Anti-American Lack of Health Care".

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Even so, lobbyists said final decisions had yet to be made on some issues, including how to make sure that health care tax subsidies Republicans would provide can not used to buy insurance that covers abortion. How and when would Medicaid be scaled back for those who gained coverage in the Obamacare-fueled expansion?

The governors called on Senators to work together across the aisle to come up with a better solution.

"In the past year alone...over 15,000 people in CT who previously purchased insurance through the state's ACA health insurance exchange did not renew their coverage - with 44 percent citing the unaffordability of their plan", Kelly said. Anthem and ConnectiCare cover about 100,000 individuals in CT though the exchange.

If the insurers quit the exchange, about 73,000 individuals in CT would lose ACA subsidies to purchase insurance.

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Repeal Obamacare's taxes as quickly as possible.

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