Senate Secretly Drafting Healthcare Bill
by Stephen Lendman
Congressional Republicans and Trump are hellbent on repealing and replacing Obamacare - no matter how many millions of America's most vulnerable will be harmed by what they intend.
Healthcare is a fundamental human right - not in America when it interferes with corporate profit-making.
The House passed (Un)American Health Care Act is an abomination no respectable lawmaker would support - few if any admirable ones in either house.
House legislation and what senators are sure to propose constitute a boon for industry predators, devastating for America's most vulnerable.
Millions will lose coverage, many millions more to be more woefully underinsured than now if Senate legislation resembles the House measure.
Senate Republicans are drafting their version secretly - with no plans to release it publicly or to Democrats at this time - a clear indication of things to hide, unacceptable to most Americans.
GOP leaders plan no hearings or an open drafting session. Secrecy on something this important is cause for great concern.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson is disturbed about it, saying "I've solved a lot of problems. It starts with information. Seems like around here, the last step is getting" any.
Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Rob Corker said "(t)he process is better if you do it in public, and that people get buy-in along the way and understand what's going on. Obviously, that's not the route that is being taken."
Remarkably, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he hasn't seen the Senate bill. He's in charge of administering whatever becomes law on healthcare.
Only a small number of GOP lawmakers know what's in the Senate measure. Its leaders haven't explained what changes they're making to the House version.
Their legislation may be equally nasty on a slower track than what House members passed - before CBO scoring without a single hearing.
GOP leaders hope to pass legislation before the July 4 recess. It'll be scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before voted on.
If passed, it'll be reconciled with the House version, a simple congressional majority required, a possible filibuster avoided. A healthcare disaster awaits America's poor and disadvantaged if the measure is enacted into law.
An earlier Public Policy Poll on the House version showed only 24% support. Gallup and Pew Research polling show most Americans favor universal federally funded healthcare - Medicare for all.
So do thousands of doctors nationwide. Physicians for a National Health Program's Dr. Andy Coates explained America "has the potential to have a great health system…Instead, we have a mediocre (one) and a bureaucratic mess, and everyone knows that."
Healthcare in America is double the cost of what other developed countries spend. Yet results are poorer - a clear indictment of a failed system congressional Republicans and Trump intend making worse if they get their way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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