Earlier this week, numerous outlets reported that Republican senators were getting dangerously close to reaching an agreement on Obamacare repeal. The GOP’s strategy is to draft the bill in complete secrecy, like a bunch of goblins in a cave, to minimize publicity of the fact that they are working on a highly unpopular effort to take away insurance from 20 million-plus Americans. But if the GOP is being secretive about their bill, they certainly are not about their plan. On Monday, Senator Orrin Hatch neatly outlined the totally undemocratic nature of his party’s strategy to Talking Points Memo:
So far, the GOP’s strategy seems to be working. Over the past few days, health care reform has failed to appear on any of the front pages of the country’s biggest newspapers. While Senate Democrats are working to raise publicity, they have no plans to go “nuclear” by withholding consent, a parliamentary stalling tactic that would shine a huge light on the Republicans’ schemes. According to reporting by Jeff Stein at Vox, activists are scrambling to ramp up constituent calls to Congress over the bill.
While no one knows what exactly is in the bill, some details have emerged over the past week and they are not pretty. A new report by the Center for American Progress shows that up to 27 million Americans could face annual limits on their coverage, meaning that the House-passed AHCA (which is expected to look similar to the Senate bill) would even affect people with employer-sponsored health insurance. Another report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the AHCA would uninsure a huge number of children: three million, a 50 percent increase. Unsurprisingly, the CBPP report shows that almost 15 million adults living below 200 percent of the poverty line would become uninsured. But, five million adults living above 200 percent of the poverty line would also lose their insurance.
Children, adults, workers, unemployed, poor, not-poor—the bottom line is that everyone could lose from the Republican health care plan. We all deserve to see what’s in it.