Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) just responded brilliantly to Senate Republicans’ secretive handling of their healthcare bill.
BREAKING: Senate Republicans just released the schedule of hearings, committee markups and public testimony for their health care bill. pic.twitter.com/iHtXyZqyMW
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 12, 2017
Republicans have taken much deserved heat for their blatantly secretive process in repealing Obamacare. According to The New York Times, for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, “the Senate health committee spent nearly 60 hours over 13 days marking up the bill that became the Affordable Care Act. That September and October, the Senate Finance Committee worked on the legislation for eight days — its longest markup in two decades. It considered more than 130 amendments and held 79 roll-call votes. The full Senate debated the health care bill for 25 straight days before passing it on Dec. 24, 2009.”
Senate Republicans, however, have announced that there will be no committee hearings or markups for their own health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing for a vote on the bill this month, before the Fourth of July recess.
On CNN’s “New Day,” Chris Coons (D-DE), outlined the differences in the processes of Democrats versus Republicans.
“When the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act back in 2009, I wasn’t in the Senate, but there were hearings after hearings after hearings over a year before they came to the conclusion that they were going to have to pass the bill without Republicans. The bill had Republican amendments taken up and voted on in committee hearings before it ultimately became law, but it’s a very different process than the closed-door process Republicans are following now.”
Republicans are doing everything they can to try to jam through a healthcare bill that may very well strip 23 million Americans of health insurance. If they do manage to emerge successful in their draconian bid against this country’s most vulnerable, this bill will be a death knell to Republicans’ hopes to stay in office past 2018.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.