Democrats to halt Senate business in health care protest

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On Monday, Schumer and three other Democrats on the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions sent a letter addressed to Republican leaders demanding that they "schedule hearings to discuss, debate and hear testimony about the healthcare bill that you are now drafting in secret".

They plan to object to unanimous consent requests, make motions (which won't pass) to compel committee consideration of health-care legislation; and make extended speeches both condemning all the secrecy and contrasting it with how Democrats handled the Affordable Care Act.

Pressed on the lack of committee hearings or input by a reporter, he described the Senate GOP working group as "a committee of the whole".

"If Republicans won't relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see", he said, "then they shouldn't expect business as usual in the Senate".

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to openly discuss the plans. Now that word is out that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and team might cut Medicaid even more deeply than the House bill did, we can either assume that they don't give a shit what Trump thinks, or they're lying to him about their bill.

The Trump administration has already leveled direct threats to cut off federal subsidies to health insurers, to go after the drug industry, and Republicans hold the purse strings for the federal programs that cover numerous patients seen by the nation's doctors and hospitals.

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The Senate version is expected to end the Medicaid expansion more slowly than the House bill would, and it could include larger tax credits to help older Americans purchase health insurance. 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. "The reason they don't want to bring it public is because it's a disastrous bill, I suspect similar to what passed in the House".

McConnell will need to win the votes of 50 of the 52 GOP senators to push the bill through the Senate. Medicaid now covers more than 70 million low-income people.

Groups opposed to getting rid of Obamacare, including the labor union SEIU, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Indivisible Project, are planning in early July to try to turn just enough Republicans against replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It defies everything that various GOP senators said last month.

Democratic lawmakers are fed up with the Republicans keeping their healthcare bill secret. He declined to comment on whether the president believed the House-passed bill was "mean" and said the administration felt "very good" about the progress the Senate is making on the bill. Democrats have gotten sparse attendance at press conferences to highlight the House bill's impact on Obamacare's insurance exchanges, Medicaid funds for opioid treatment, and women's health. The Senate majority leader and other members of the Republican leadership will be occupied this week attending multiple high-dollar fundraising events.

The Republican National Committee blasted the Democrats' plan as a "pure partisan game aimed at placating the far-left". "We think it's critical that Americans across the country understand what's at stake for them and their families if the U.S. Senate passes this bill".

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