Senate Democrats are now demanding that the Republicans hold public hearings regarding what they are now calling the Better Care Reconciliation Act. With the unexpected delay to the August recess to allow senators to catch up with the GOP agenda to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Democrats think it’s the perfect time for representatives to hold public hearings on the changes and how they will be affected – especially with the deep cuts to Medicaid.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and GOP Senators Orrin Hatch (UT) and Lamar Alexander (TN) on Monday to suggest a list of outside groups that could be invited to testify.
Given your decision to delay the vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we request that you use this additional time to hold public hearings … on the policies in the bill, especially the radically conservative Cruz/Lee proposal released to the public only five days ago.
The provision referenced is being headed by Ted Cruz (R-TX). It would allow insurance providers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations as long as they sell at least one plan that does. So, they are perfectly fine with selling policies to people that will cover basically nothing. Crap – they want their constituents to pay for crap.
The letter comes after John McCain’s (R-AZ) office announced he would miss votes this week as he recovers from eye surgery. This left McConnell unable to get the 50 votes he needed to move forward on the bill, which is already struggling. You know, because some senators actually care about the people they represent.
Democrats need to convince at least one more GOP senator to block McConnell from being able to continue with the healthcare legislation. GOP Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY) are both expected to vote against proceeding to the bill because the cuts to Medicaid would be detrimental to their constituents. Let’s hope other Republicans vote with their constituents in mind instead of with party lines.