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

President Donald Trump walks with National Security Adviser H.R. Mc Master on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. Trump recently told Republican senators that the health care bill passed in the House is “mean” and urged them to craft a

But now, with the American Health Care Act, Republicans are doing exactly that.

The "health care" act originally approved by President Trump that passed the House and is now being debated in the Senate would reduce spending on Medicaid by over $800 billion, the largest spending reduction in a social insurance program in USA history.

House Speaker Paul Ryan after speaking at a news conference about Rep. Devin Nunes and health care legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 6, 2017.

Senate Democrats have made a decision to muddle the chamber's work in a bid to highlight the closed-door nature of Republicans' health care negotiations.

If I were a rural Republican I would be talking "real hard" to Daines and pressuring him to reveal what is going on with the Republican health insurance bill before it gets rammed through the Senate without any scrutiny.

The GOP-run House narrowly approved its version of the legislation last month. Now it's the Senate's turn to improve that bill.

One way to help do this would be to introduce true personal responsibility into health care reform by permitting insurers to have smokers bear their fair share of the costs they now force upon others. "This is a red-alert moment".

The senators are actively considering two measures that would limit funding for abortions, though it is not clear if either would be allowed to remain in the bill according to the Senate's rules. It would replace Obamacare subsidies with tax credits based primarily on age, and let states get waivers from some of the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections.

In their desperation to provide $600 billion in tax cuts to their rich campaign contributors, the Republicans have chose to abandon all the standard rules by which Congress has governed itself. They also fear incurring White House retaliation.

"It is going to take days and weeks to work through that in the Senate", Rubio said on CBS' "Face the Nation".

The clock is ticking.

Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning the party can only afford to have two senators oppose the repeal and replace bill for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.

"Congress is moving fast to rush through a health care overhaul that lacks a key ingredient: the full participation of you, the American people", Ryan wrote in an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2009.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest group of House conservatives, was circulating the letter for signatures, said a House Republican aide, who asked not to be named.

"All we need are three Republicans to drop off and we can kill it", said Levin, whose organization was created to defeat Trump's agenda and works through a network of over 5,800 local grassroots groups.

They include Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona, both up for re-election next year, as well as Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

The aide added that Democrats would also initiate parliamentary procedures "to highlight the difference between the open process used to pass the Affordable Care Act and the process Republicans are pursuing now". He declined to comment on whether the president believed the House-passed bill was "mean" and said the administration felt "very good" about the progress the Senate is making on the bill.

Last month, the New York Times editorial board compiled a list identifying the numerous ways in which Trumpcare would be "disastrous for women". It would cut Medicaid for the poor, the disabled and seniors in nursing homes.

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said he did not know whether legislative staff had been briefed on the Senate healthcare bill. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is leaning toward sending it over to the Congressional Budget Office for a quick analysis and then bringing it to a vote before the Senate adjourns for the July 4th holiday.

It could be done by simply permitting - but not necessarily requiring - health insurance companies to do what life insurance (and some auto and home insurance) companies have long done without any serious objections - charge proportionately higher rates for these who smoke.

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