search
Sections List
American Journal News

Watch Sen. Claire McCaskill unload on Senate GOP for trying to repeal Obamacare in secret

While everyone was paying attention to the explosive allegations in James Comey’s testimony, Senate Republicans are quietly trying to seize their chance to fast-track Obamacare repeal. No one can say with certainty what the finished Senate bill will look like — because it is a secret. The bill is being negotiated behind closed doors by a “working […]

By Matthew Chapman - June 09, 2017
Share
McCaskill

While everyone was paying attention to the explosive allegations in James Comey’s testimony, Senate Republicans are quietly trying to seize their chance to fast-track Obamacare repeal.

No one can say with certainty what the finished Senate bill will look like — because it is a secret.

The bill is being negotiated behind closed doors by a “working group” of 13 men and zero women. There will be no public hearings or markups, no Democratic senators will be included, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will hold a vote on June 30, a few days after the bill is released.

But Democrats are having none of it. In a meeting of the Finance Committee, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) blasted Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) when he tried to defend the GOP’s health care debate process:

HATCH: We’ve invited you to participate and give your ideas and—

MCCASKILL: No, no, that’s not true, Mr. Chairman. Let me just say, I watched carefully all the hearings that went on on the [Affordable Care Act]. I was not a member of this committee at the time, although I would have liked to be. Senator Grassley was the ranking member. Dozens of Republican amendments were offered and accepted in that hearing process. And when you say you’re “inviting us” — and we heard you, Mr. Secretary, just say we’d love your support — for what? We don’t even know! We have no idea what’s being proposed. There’s a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions. There were no hearings in the House.

I mean, listen, this is hard to take. Because, I know we made mistakes on the [Affordable Care Act], Mr. Secretary. And one of the criticisms we got over and over again that the vote was partisan. Well, you couldn’t have a more partisan exercise than what you’re engaged in right now. We’re not even gonna have a hearing, on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy. We’re not gonna have an opportunity to offer a single amendment. It is all being done with an eye to try to get it by with 50 votes and the Vice President.

I am stunned that that’s what Leader McConnell would call regular order, which he sanctimoniously said would be the order of the day when the Republicans took the Senate over.

McCaskill is right. When Democrats had control of Congress, the health care debate over what became the Affordable Care Act was very different.

Despite the fact that Democrats had 58 senators and a much clearer mandate than Republicans do today, they held dozens of public hearings, took endless input from the committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and agreed to over 160 Republican amendments to the bill. The fact that zero Republicans voted for the final version of Obamacare is a testament to their partisanship, not to Democrats’.

The GOP’s attempt to ram through Obamacare repeal with no public hearings and without even letting Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee see it is also a testament to how little they value accountability and transparency on even the most major issues, and how afraid they are of public backlash.

Although many Republican senators swore the House bill was too extreme for them and they would start from scratch, the few details we know of the Senate bill suggest their plan is basically the same.

For instance, “moderate” Republican senators like Nevada’s Dean Heller, Ohio’s Rob Portman, and West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito all claimed they would not support the House’s plan to end the Medicaid expansion, but all three of them now support a proposal to phase out Medicaid expansion that shifts the date until after they are re-elected.

McCaskill stood up and told Senate Republicans what much of the nation feels: that we deserve more from our elected leaders. Everyone needs health care, so when the Senate takes up the issue, everyone deserves to be heard and included. Republicans have time and again refused to allow this, but nothing they can do will stop Democrats from fighting for the people.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

By Evan Popp, Maine Morning Star - February 14, 2024
Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle - February 12, 2024
Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune - January 26, 2024
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024