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Democrats Say They'll Slow Senate Work Over Secretive Health Care Bill

20 June, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Rickey Alvarado
  • Obamacare in 2018 Many will pay the price

The Los Angeles Times reported that leading patient advocacy organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week asking for a meeting, only to be rejected over scheduling concerns.

The AHA also urged senators to keep ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, which paid for states to expand eligibility for the program to more low-income adults. Versions of the bill were passed back and forth from the House to the Senate until it was finally passed and signed in March 2010.

"Some version of secrecy has to happen". Many rank-and-file Republicans told reporters "they had no idea what was being drafted". "The general parameters of the bill were widely known". One of the top priorities of the lieutenant governor, who also serves as president of the Senate, is passage of the controversial "bathroom bill" which is opposed by many brands similar to what occurred in North Carolina.

Democrats plan to object to routine requests to let the chamber operate - whether it's scheduling votes or allowing committees to meet for extended hearings - in a move aimed at escalating the fight over health care.

Trump has reportedly "been stung by the non-stop negative news coverage of the House bill, particularly reports that more than 20 million people or more could lose insurance".

"Nobody's hiding the ball here", the Kentucky Republican said last week.

"Nobody can defend a process, which will impact tens of millions of Americans, and nobody even knows what's in the [legislation]..." But Republican moderates in the Senate want a much slower end to the additional federal aid.

Portman, a member of the Senate working group on the bill, has led the effort to convince leadership to accept a seven-year "glide path" - a longer transition period in which Medicaid expansion state governors can figure out an alternative to the program.

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Early in 2009, a Gang of Six, three senators from each party, used secret talks to unsuccessfully seek compromise on an overall bill.

Yes, there is urgency to craft an alternative to the teetering health law. The Senate votes before going home around July 4, and it passes with all but two Republicans supporting it. Closed-door discussions were also used to resolve differences with anti-abortion Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of MI that threatened the bill's passage. Restrictions on abortion funding in the House bill are opposed by at least two Senate Republicans - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - but if stripped out could thwart House approval of a final measure.

But sometimes, a negotiation is so delicate that doing it in public is counterproductive, said Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow of economics and health policy at the Brookings Institution.

There are plenty of examples of bills that were essentially written, or had their final details completed, in private meetings.

Instead, they refuse to acknowledge their quandary and instead are hoping to shove a healthcare bill into law without it ever seeing the light of day.

On Monday morning, Trump again said the ACA was dead, and that rising premiums were unaffordable.

An occasional look at how Washington works behind the scenes.


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