Senate leaders craft health care bill in complete secrecy

Posted Jun. 21, 2017 by

A group of senators led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is drafting a bill to replace Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The problem? The details are being kept secret, raising concerns over transparency of the contents and its impact on health care coverage, including Medicaid, for states like Ohio.

If this alarms you, take action now!

  1. Call Sen. Rob Portman at 888-865-8089 to demand a public hearing on the new health care bill. Tell him to protect Medicaid and to stand up for employer-provided health care and those with pre-existing conditions.
  2. AFL-CIO: Tell the Senate: Don't take away Ohioan's health care.
  3. AFSCME: Demand a public hearing on health care.

Here is how reports so far describe the bill being drafted:

  • Takes away Medicaid expansion that now covers more than 11 million people, although more gradually than the House bill;
  • Threatens health care for the millions of children, seniors, and disabled Americans who rely on Medicaid by restricting federal Medicaid payments to the states;
  • Weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allow states to eliminate the essential health benefit standards that make insurance companies cover things like maternity care or prescription drugs.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) recently expressed frustration about this lack of transparency and inclusion. “There’s a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions,” she said, referring to the coterie that’s drafting a bill to replace the ACA. “We’re not even going to have a hearing, on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy?” Read more.

Related: Ohioans to Sen. Portman: No Cuts to Health Care, Medicaid