ibusinesslines.com February 21, 2018

Democrats hit secrecy of GOP health care bill, threaten delays

20 June 2017, 10:18 | Laverne Osborne

The protest happened four days after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to the majority leader, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, calling for an all-senators meeting to discuss health care.

An Arizona congressman has contributed to the cries of Democrats for more transparency from Senate Republicans on their health care plan, which is shrouded in secrecy.

So what's on the horizon as Republicans try to move their version of Obamacare repeal before Congress' July 4 recess?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants the legislation passed by June 30. Republicans are unlikely to oblige.

And Rep. Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican who voted for the health care plan, said he heard "nothing anywhere near" the kind of analysis of the bill that Trump gave privately in a recent dinner with the President.

Warren further argued that the legislation Republicans are working on is not a health care bill, but rather a tax cut for billionaires that is paid for by cutting health care for millions of Americans. The Senate needs to do the same and they will, but we don't need half the Senate playing these games.

The bills that won approval in the Senate HELP and House Energy and Commerce committees do have some differences.

The President's "mean" comment, though, has not only undermined his negotiating power in the upcoming Senate discussions, it has also left House Republicans scratching their heads about how Trump could have sold a bill that he thought was "mean". Released last month, Trump's proposed budget would provide the FDA with $5.1 billion in total funding, an increase of $871 million over past year. Last-minute negotiations among lawmakers and between Congress and the White House "are never in public", he said. The current user fee agreement expires in September.

In the meantime, the Senate will bide its time working through a series of nominations, even without procedural acquiescence from the Democratic caucus. But he added: "Most of our real private meetings were the final tweaks, not the original bill".

PhRMA and critics of the 340B program say the legislation is flawed because it would not require that hospitals pass along those discounts to patients.

The Judiciary subcommittee chaired by South Carolina Republican Sen.

Throughout the almost seven hours they devoted to objecting to the GOP's intentions on health care, Democrats engaged in a number of mostly symbolic moves created to troll Republicans for their lack of transparency around their Obamacare legislation.

Democratic senators, including Blumenthal and Sen. The legislation called the "Stop Price Gouging Act", would require drug companies to publicly report and justify price increases. "The Republicans are writing their health care bill under the cover of darkness because they're ashamed of it, plain and simple".

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, said, "I come from a manufacturing background".

A senior Senate Democratic aide said they might still allow honorary resolutions through during the blockade, such as one last week that recognized the efforts of Capitol Police and Alexandria, Virginia, police officers in responding to the shooting at the Republican team practice for the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

"They're afraid either the committees couldn't come up with the amount of savings that they're required or people wouldn't be willing to vote for them", said Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocated for lower deficits. In addition to CHIP, the subcommittee will also examine Federally Qualified Health Centers and the Community Health Center Fund, which supports grants to outpatient healthcare facilities and is the nation's largest source of comprehensive primary care for medically underserved populations.

A vote on the legislation is expected next week.

If the strategy Democrats are considering is largely unprecedented, so is the one that Republicans have used to hide their bill. Its prospects are less clear in the Senate, where 60 votes would be needed to pass the bill.

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