House Republicans are under fire for keeping their Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replacement bill secret (from the public and other lawmakers) and are facing calls to wait for an official analysis that would reveal its human and financial costs.
One Republican and a handful of Democratic lawmakers were forced on Thursday to engage in a hide-and-seek for the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s draft of the bill.
Among those searching for the document was Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)—with his own copy machine in tow. “This is being presented as if it were a national secret, as if it were a plot to invade another country,” Rand said. “That’s wrong. It should be done openly in the public. And conservatives who have objections that don’t want Obamacare-lite should be able to see the bill.”
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for her part, declared that the committee was shielding it from view because “Republicans are too terrified of their constituents to make their plan to destroy the Affordable Care Act public.” And the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), who was also leading reporters on the hunt for the bill, said, “I think they’re afraid it will show that it really doesn’t cover most of the people that received coverage under the Affordable Care Act.”
As Bloomberg wrote Wednesday, the bill has yet to be processed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which will provide its analysis or “score.”
The Hill notes Friday that
“This is no way in a democracy to consider and shape legislation affecting tens of millions of people with many lives hanging in the balance,” Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at the Center for American Progress, writes Friday
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