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

The Senate's GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act is expected to phase out Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid and reduce federal subsidies for buying insurance on the private market.

Democrats will start objecting to all "unanimous consent requests" in the Senate starting Monday night when they return for votes, a senior Senate aide tells the Daily News, a move that will essentially grind the chamber to a halt with the goal of forcing a public debate on the GOP's repeal plans.

So why are Republicans doing keeping a major health care bill so secret? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made the calculation that it's better to have a secretive process and rush a bill to the floor, given the House's raucous, if abbreviated, debate and the deep unpopularity of its bill.

Blumenthal has scheduled Monday's hearing for 9 a.m.at the state Capitol in Hartford. But when Democratic leaders tried that again when they had large majorities during the Great Depression, rank-and-file senators revolted.

It also comes on the eve of a closely watched special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, which Republicans are trying to hold.

The bill is being written by just 13 senators, all of whom are men. Granted, that's if you don't get sick and die from a lack of health care before then. Alaska's senators know the process is an unprecedented violation of Senate traditions, and they know that the current back room dealings are a complete change from the Affordable Care Act, which had extensive public discussion before passage. McConnell is believed to be pressing ahead to hold a health care vote before July 4. "I've never seen anything like it, as far as the secrecy", said Paul Ginsburg, a health policy expert at the University of Southern California.

Portman, a member of the Senate working group on the bill, has led the effort to convince leadership to accept a seven-year "glide path" - a longer transition period in which Medicaid expansion state governors can figure out an alternative to the program. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Patty Murray, D-Washington and Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, sent a letter to top Republicans asking that they schedule hearing to discuss, debate and hear testimony about "the health care bill that you are now drafting in secret".

"When people ask me a question about Russian Federation, I say, 'I'm happy to talk to you about it, but you're going to have to listen to me talk about the health care challenge ahead, '" Sen. A win for Democrat Jon Ossoff could be seen as a stark warning to President Donald Trump and the GOP Obamacare repeal efforts.

Although the House narrowly passed its own healthcare legislation, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), last month, the Senate immediately chose to draft its own bill rather than take up the AHCA. In the past, abortion language in budget bills has been ruled out of order.

Since everything is being done in secret, we have to depend upon the grapevine which says there will be drastic cuts, leaving millions without health-care coverage.



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