Health care battle: Republicans impose July 4 deadline

Nettie James
June 20, 2017

Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has indicated he wants to vote on a bill in the next two weeks, Senate Republicans thus far haven't disclosed details of their Medicaid plans, or any other part of their health care legislation.

Democratic senators are planning to hold the Senate floor until at least midnight on Monday to thrash Senate Republicans for refusing to hold committee hearings on their healthcare overhaul, according to several people familiar with the plan.

It will include trying to force votes aimed at drawing attention to the lack of transparency, such as committee hearings, on the GOP legislation. Democratic senators will also make floor speeches late Monday on the subject.

While none of these measures can hold up the bill indefinitely, the Democratic protests will slow down the Senate business and likely bring more attention to the issue.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to openly discuss the plans.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump called the House version of the bill "mean", in a closed lunch, despite having a Rose Garden celebration when the bill was passed.

The governors say Congress must focus more on controlling costs and settling the individual insurance market. It also cuts taxes on wealthy Americans and health insurers that helped fund segments of the Affordable Care Act. He said, on Sunday, that the bill which is almost finished will include "much lower deductibles" and "lower numbers" but refused revealing any specific details, saying that he plans to chase pharmaceutical companies insisting them to negotiate with the government directly on Medicaid and Medicare health plans at lower costs.

Republicans will be unable to pass a Senate bill if just three of their party's 52 members vote "no".

"Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they're ashamed of it, plain and simple", Senate Minority Leader Charles D. Schumer. According to an analysis by Media Matters looking at coverage from June 1 through June 14, the bill has received scant mention on broadcast and cable news, with Republican secrecy surrounding the bill barely even being mentioned.

"In no uncertain terms, a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a declaration of war on women", said Karin Roland, chief campaigns officer at UltraViolet, the principal organizer of the sit-ins (visit UltraViolet's website for more information about the day of action).

The bill passed by House Republicans last month would phase out in 2020 a Medicaid expansion to additional low-income people.

Rather than sticking to the firebrand, leadership-agitating strategy that defined his early years in the Senate, Cruz - and those who have been working with him- insist he is working constructively behind the scenes to get to "yes" on health care. But GOP senators still disagree on a number of key issues, such as what to do with Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, taxes and tax credits. This time both Democrats and Republican women team up to take on members of the Capitol Hill press corps for a charity game to benefit breast cancer research.

Other reports by Insurance News

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