Published: Sat, March 04, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Rand Paul Blocked From Reading Obamacare Repeal Bill

"They don't want us to see the bill", said Pallone.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also chipped in, contributing a couple of "K-9s" to see if they couldn't sniff out the fruits of Republican leaders' labor.

Democrats launched a scavenger hunt on Capitol Hill Thursday in search of an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan that's been crafted by House Republicans, which is being kept in a locked room. The GOP would break this link, showering benefits on wealthy insurance-buyers who do not need them and shortchanging poorer people who may well find themselves unable to afford adequate coverage. "Even if I were allowed to look at it, which it didn't look like I was, how is that democracy?"

A Quinnipiac University national poll released in January found that only 16 percent of Americans want congressional republicans to repeal the ACA in its entirety.

On Thursday, Paul infuriated GOP leaders on both ends of the Capitol by marching over to the House with a crowd of reporters and his own copy machine to demand to see the draft health bill, and to criticize leadership for keeping it under wraps. The effort to repeal the ACA is the first major test of whether they can harness the energy they used to oppose the law to actually undo it - or whether ideological divisions will sink the effort.

Senator Ted Cruz, who counts himself among the hardliners, argued that he didn't construe Trump's comments as support for the House G.O.P. bill.

But Trump's continued popularity on the right puts these conservatives in a tough spot. should the president more fully embrace the emerging House plan.

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"They're trying to keep those negotiations as close to the vest as they possibly can probably out of fear or concern that if the general public finds out what the various options are that are being discussed, the public may rise up and say, 'no way'".

The lawmakers are criticizing the developing legislation as "Obamacare lite". "It starts a new entitlement program with refundable tax credits, and it also keeps the individual mandate", Paul told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

"The draft legislation was rumored to be in H-157, a nondescript meeting room in the House of Representatives", Kliff reported.

He's the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which will have to approve the bill before the whole House can vote on it. One year ago, Paul suspended his campaign for president and returned to the job of being a senator full-time-and to make sure he defended his Senate seat.

Asked whether he felt all of the Senate Republicans were on-board with the legislation, Brady said only, "You'll have to ask them". Democrats voiced similar complaints.

Jonathan Cohn of the Huffington Post reports that the House Energy and Commerce committee is supposed to consider the draft next Wednesday, meaning, according to the committee's rules, that the bill will have to be made public no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

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