Democrats, progressives, retirees, doctors, insurance providers, and, more broadly, people with a shred of compassion and human decency have loudly condemned the disastrous “American Health Care Act” bill that Paul Ryan rammed through the House. While exact figures are unknown, it is anticipated that the bill, if made law, could effectively strip health care away from millions of low income Americans and persons with pre-existing conditions.
The reason exact figures are unknown is because the bill was passed by House Republicans before the Congressional Budget Office evaluated the bill’s likely effects. Now that the bill is in the hands of the Senate, some Senate leaders – even Republicans – are advocating for a more open, responsible approach. For example, Bob Corker, Republican Senator for the State of Tennessee, recently lambasted his colleagues for their secrecy, and their unwillingness to gather key economic facts.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Senator Corker “unexpectedly torched his party’s process for crafting an Obamacare repeal bill behind closed doors.”
Said Corker: “It’s a very awkward process, at best. There are no experts. There’s no actuarials… Typically, in a hearing, you’d have people coming in and you’d also have the media opining about if a hearing took place, and X came in and made comments.”
“Corker’s frustrations come as Republicans continue to struggle with how, exactly, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The House barely passed its bill, which is going nowhere, earlier this month…Senator Corker said he [sought] to offer input because he’s worried [Senate Republicans] are going to unveil a final bill that hasn’t been shaped by public hearings or media analyses.”
Of course, the reason Congressional Republicans are not accepting input or study is that they know the bill is incredibly unpopular, and the numbers behind it are likely devastating.