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Secretive Legislative Process Produces Failed Health Care Bill – “You Can See It After We Release It”

By  Janice Barlow

It looks like, at least for the time being, at least unless/until it implodes, that Obamacare is here to stay. It is the Democrats’ baby. The majority in both the House and Senate are Republicans. They couldn’t even get their act together in their promised effort to repeal Obamacare in a laborious process that dragged on for months.

So by default, we are stuck. Half-hearted efforts toward another bill are being bantered about, mostly to appease Trump it would appear; but these will probably end up in the trashcan as well.

We now pay for Medicare tax forever, no matter what we earn. We pay a higher percentage of taxes on capital gains than we did before the Obama administration, and many of us pay exorbitant health insurance premiums to subsidize those who cannot, but must all be insured under Obamacare or they are “penalized”.  

Obamacare may implode on its own, but that isn’t exactly the feather that the GOP wanted in its cap on health care.

This poor excuse for a health care bill was finally sent from the House to the Senate after the Congressional Budget Office reviewed it. The CBO determined it would leave many people uninsured, and then something went terribly askew. The bill didn’t just go to the entire Senate.

For expediency’s sake, it went to a Senate committee, formed for the explicit purpose of revising the bill to make it more palatable to the entire Senate, and presumably, to take as much Obamacare out of it as possible.

Since, by this stage, a full repeal seemed nigh impossible, they would just remove chunks, such as gutting Medicaid. And why repeal it anyway, they reasoned?

That would take the government out of the health care business, and Donald Trump wants to be smack in the middle of that. So, it went to a Senate committee comprised of all men. And the committee shut the rest of the Senators out. With a thick brick wall.

The heart of the matter is that only Senator Paul (R-KY) had the spine to stand up and immediately fight against the lockout of the rest of the Senate by leader, Mitch McConnell. None of the other GOP members were willing to stand up publicly to the closed door meeting. They stood quietly by like little soldiers, waiting until they could finally see the damage done, and then pull their hair out over a short period remaining to try and fix it to their liking.

Rand Paul had the media at his beck and call, with cameras and reporters clamoring for information, much to the zip-lipped committee’s dismay.

Why was this clandestine gathering allowed in the first place? And why didn’t all the Republican senators who were shut out quickly go running to the media to talk about how opaque the GOP was – EXACTLY like the Obama administration? Lack of transparency.

“We’ll let you see the bill when we finally release it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters … He added that “nobody is hiding the ball here” and that people were “free to ask anybody anything.”

But when Rand Paul tried to get answers, he was just shut down.

Ted Cruz (R- TX) did say in an interview with Steve Deace that the insiders were acting like Democrats, but not until after they were done with their revision. Why not on Day One, Ted? Rand Paul fought that battle alone, bringing in the press to show the injustice.

Personally, I believe legislation should be passed stating that no committee should lock out any of the rest of the body from any meeting of Congress drafting  legislation. No secrets. That is not a Democratic system. Daily, we are becoming more like Europe. Legally, all the Senate is allowed to work on and write the bill, not just a small committee.

There are too many unanswered questions.

We sent our politicians to D.C. to accomplish what they had promised during their campaigns. Going it alone is no excuse. A monster president tossing threats hither and yon should not be either. There is no solid evidence that he even did so. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time a president cajoled congress people to pass legislation “or else” you won’t get this or that in the future.

If we keep voting in those folks who don’t keep their promises, we will keep getting the same result – broken promises.

What can we do?

To be proactive currently, we can join the Facebook group, United For Freedom, which has contact missions to hold politicians accountable. There are state groups as well.  We can demand answers for their shortcomings on legislation.

Don’t let Congress be silent on its failures. Make your representative or senator explain. Bombard them with emails, tweets, Facebook comments, website comments and phone calls to their state and D.C. offices.

Next, we can vote them out at election time.

We should never be afraid to vote out a politician who doesn’t keep his or her promises. They work for us. We were promised a repeal of Obamacare, something they actually voted on in consensus during Obama’s presidency. But they couldn’t do it now. They really haven’t done anything notable yet, with the exception of passing Kate’s Law in the House to end Sanctuary City funding. It still has to pass the Senate.

Hold your politicians accountable. They are not high and lofty. They are just people. And the principles of smaller government and conservatism are supposed to be what matters, not the people sitting in D.C. who are currently failing to adhere to them.      

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2 thoughts on “Secretive Legislative Process Produces Failed Health Care Bill – “You Can See It After We Release It”

  1. The GOP pandering to the left is killing us. Trying to remember why we voted in a Republican majority into the Senate now. It certainly wasn’t for this.

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