Dems say they'll slow Senate work over secretive care bill


Senate Democrats plan to ramp up opposition Monday to the emerging Republican health-care bill with a series of mostly symbolic moves including speeches that will go late into the evening and a push to slow other Senate business to a crawl. Critics have estimated that the House bill would curtail Medicaid by some Dollars 800 billion, and some Republican senators from states where Medicaid was expanded under Obama have expressed concern about passing legislation that slashes aid to thousands of constituents.

Sensing that the unpopular GOP bill could give them an advantage in 2018, Democrats will contrast how their approach to passing Obamacare differed from how Republicans are treating their legislation. So they are focusing this week on nonbinding protests.

National outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post featured no front-page coverage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, which is being secretly written by an all-male group of senators.

But it's not as easy as simply summarizing the priorities of the 52-member Senate Republican conference.

The letter is signed by Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio, Charles Baker of MA and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, as well as Democratic Governors John Kickenlooper of Colorado, Steve Bullock of Montana, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.

"What Democrats are aiming to do is highlight how appalling it is for Republicans to try to jam through a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy, and would undermine the health and financial security of patients and families nationwide, without so much as a single public hearing or a robust floor debate", said the Democratic aide, who asked not to be named.

For business to proceed in the Senate, senators usually make a request of "unanimous consent" to move on.

Senate Republican leaders would like a vote on healthcare legislation in July, before the July 4 recess if possible.

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CHUCK SCHUMER: If Republicans are not going to allow debate on their bill on the floor in committee, Democrats will make opportunities to debate. But the specifics in their bill have been closely guarded.

Democrats, who solidly oppose the Republican effort but lack the votes to block it, are trying to capitalize on the secrecy and contrast it with the numerous committee meetings and votes that produced Obama's 2010 statute.

The Community Catalyst TV ad, which targets four of the five senators (not Flake), begins with a scene of a young boy wheezing in his bedroom and his mother rushing to get his asthma medication from a bathroom drawer.

The goal, he said, is to refer the GOP health care bill to a committee where it can be debated and amended publicly. "She isn't thinking that it'll force her to choose between filling his prescriptions or paying their mortgage".

Community Catalyst Action Fund, which bills itself as a consumer health organization, is targeting Sens. Write to Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bob Corker (R-South Carolina), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana). For him, preexisting conditions and expanding Medicaid are at the top of the list.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voiced feelings many rank-and-file Republicans share about the process during a Sunday show appearance.

The 13 senators crafting the bill are already working with the congressional budget office to devise a plan that can meet the strict requirements of reconciliation - which means it can't bust the budget. The coalition - which includes AARP, two hospital associations and four disease-fighting organizations - has said it will convene events in at least three other states in coming weeks, with the next one Wednesday in Reno, Nevada.