Senate Republicans aren’t taking any chances with their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their benign-sounding ObamaCare repeal bill. After the House passed their controversial version on a strict party line vote, senior GOP Senators announced that they would discard the House bill and start from scratch.
That was over a month ago. Since then, silence. Aside from a select group of Republican senators, no one has seen any drafts of the bill. No outline of principles. No coverage targets or budget estimates. Nothing has been made public or even shared outside the group of Republicans writing the bill.
In fact, the only news about the bill that has emerged has confirmed that the GOP intend to keep the bill secret as long as they can, and even try to bypass the committee markup process and fast-track whatever bill they draft directly to the floor for a vote by the full senate.
Today, we got even more disturbing news from Independent Journal Review reporter Haley Byrd (@byrdinator), who tweeted this afternoon about an encounter she had with a staffer for a Republican senator:
You read that correctly. Lobbyists on K Street will get their hands on the bill before Democrats or the American people get to see it. Even Republicans not part of the working group will be able to see it before the lobbyists do.
House Republicans were able to pass their amended bill without a CBO score. It appears their brethren in the Senate are attempting to pass their version of TrumpCare without a bill anyone will see – except the lobbyists of course.
Remember Trump’s promise to drain the swamp? Yeah… neither does he.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.