As far as we know, there is no Trumpcare bill actually written down in the Senate, but that’s apparently not keeping Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from trying to force through a vote in the next two weeks, according to reports to Axios’s Jonathan Swan.
The strategy is a 180-degree shift from the Republican position during the 2009-2010 debate on ‘s health care reforms, when conservatives demanded transparency and dozens of public hearings in a months-long process. But they praise its impact on providing coverage to around 20 million additional people and forcing insurers to provide more generous benefits.
Democrats held the Senate floor for several hours late Monday and promised to use procedural tactics to slow the Senate’s work, to focus attention on the Republican effort.
His comments come as Senate Republicans are working hard to finalize legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, without a formal, open drafting session.
“The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote”, said Sen. 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.
Democrats are increasingly anxious that McConnell will jam the bill through the Senate with little debate, limiting their chance to scrutinize the bill and whip up opposition against it.
Democrats have even suggested a scenario in which Senate debate begins on a preliminary version of the GOP measure and McConnell offers the final package as a late amendment, giving Democrats little or no time to criticize it.
After the president reportedly called the legislation “mean” and a “son of a b–” during a meeting with GOP Senators last week, some House Republican lawmakers were perturbed.
McConnell answered both times: “I think we’ll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill”.
Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning the party can only afford to have two senators oppose the repeal and replace bill for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. It remains unclear if he’ll be able to write legislation that will attract enough votes.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that the closed-door Republican meetings on healthcare amounted to “the most glaring departure from normal legislative procedure that I have ever seen”.