June 20th, 2017

[Update @ 1822—Yes! Republicans say they will release draft of health bill amid pressure over secrecy:

Senate Republican leaders said they would release draft language of their healthcare bill on Thursday amid mounting frustration among lawmakers in both parties over the way the party is assembling their bill—behind closed doors and without a single public hearing scheduled. A vote is expected next week.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, confirmed that the draft bill would be made public on Thursday during a press conference with reporters on Tuesday.

He said a finalized version of the bill would be released after the Congressional Budget Office publishes its analysis, which is expected to occur sometime next week.

Again, YES…!!!]

170620 13 republicans senate trumpcare ii
The 13 White Republican Men—including my own Senator Rob Portman of Ohio—are crafting the secret Senate Republican plan to ram a massive tax cut for the very richest Americans down the throat of the rest of us by masking their largess under the guise of a faux healthcare plan is as perfect an example of Shock Doctrine as we’re seeing right now.

Tim Dickinson’s lede to WTF Is Going on With the Secret Senate Version of Trumpcare? for Rolling Stone illustrates the point.

We’ve been hit with an avalanche of news over the past week: Trump under investigation for obstruction of justice! House Whip was shot at baseball practice! Attorney General Sessions stonewalls Intel committee! Tower inferno in London! As a result, the Senate GOP’s campaign to advance Trumpcare is flying beneath the radar—exactly as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants it.

While everyone is watching the White House set it’s hair on fire, Congress is stripping $834 billion from Medicaid and throwing 23 million Americans under the Trumpcare II bus. Unless we help Senate Democrats yank back the curtain.

Here’s what they’re trying to do.

Lauren Gambino, reporting in Republican health bill: Democrats pledge Senate standstill over secrecy for The Guardian, writes:

Democrats have vowed to bring Senate business to a halt this week, in protest against secrecy around a Republican attempt to repeal Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act that will affect access to coverage for millions of Americans.

Beginning on Monday night, Democrats will begin an effort to delay a vote on the Senate health bill by forcing the House-passed healthcare bill into committee, a senior Democratic aide said. Tactics will include procedural maneuvers that will disrupt routine order and late-night floor speeches demanding greater transparency.

Senior party figures, who were reported to be planning to focus on Donald Trump’s reported description of the House bill as “mean”, also launched a campaign urging Americans to speak out against the healthcare plan and share their stories about how the ACA, known as Obamacare, has helped them. In a video, several female senators shared their constituents’ stories.

Obamacare: 11 months and “more than a dozen hearings” vs. Trumpcare: less than 11 WEEKS and NO hearings. Trevor Noah slammed the Republican Star Chamber last week in What’s in the GOP’s Mysterious Health Care Bill?

In the Senate alone compare Democrats in 2009 to Republicans in 2017:

170620 trumpcare obamacare 2009 2017

Call your Republican senators and tell them healthcare is too important to fix in the dark. Call your Democratic senators and tell them to drag their Republican colleagues into the light.

[Update @ 0647—I’ve taken my own advice and called Sen. Portman’s offices in Washington (202.224.3353) and Cleveland (216.522.7095 to leave this message:

Good morning. My name is Jeff Hess and I live in North Royalton, Ohio.

I’m calling this morning to ask that Sen. Portman stop the Senate’s secret Trumpcare meetings that have the potential to put the lives of tens of thousands of Ohioans at dire risk. We deserve better from our Senate.

Thank you.

I also called Sen. Brown’s offices in Washington (202.224.2315) and Cleveland (216.522.7272) to leave this message:

Good morning. My name is Jeff Hess and I live in North Royalton, Ohio.

I’m calling this morning to thank Sen Brown for his work and to encourage him to take whatever steps he can to assist his peers in the senate in bringing the secret Trumpcare process into the light and protect the lives of all Ohioans and all Americans put at dire risk by Sen. Portman and the 12 other Republican senators now engaged in these secret meetings.

Thank you.

I also sent nearly identical—I’m writing instead of I’m calling—email messages to my senators. The whole process took less than 10 minutes. Please do the same.]

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