468x60 General & Logo

GOP’s secretive work on health care draws fire

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are facing increasing criticism for ducking public scrutiny as they craft legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act with little input from outside experts, patients, physicians and others most affected by health care legislation. The GOP’s secretive process marks a sharp departure from the traditional way the Senate has developed large, complex bills, which are often debated for years with multiple committee hearings to ensure broad input and careful analysis. The lung association is among 120 patient groups that sent a letter last week to senior Republican senators expressing deep concerns about GOP proposals to fundamentally restructure Medicaid, which provides health coverage to more than 70 million poor Americans. The Affordable Care Act repeal bill passed by the House in May, which has helped guide the Senate discussions, would slash federal health care assistance to low- and moderate-income Americans by nearly $1 trillion and increase the number of uninsured by 23 million over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. [...] even some GOP senators have voiced increasing frustration about the lack of public debate about the specifics of how Republicans plan to replace the health care law. Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said holding public hearings about the legislation would only give Democrats more opportunity to attack the bill.

Article by By Noam N. Levey and Lisa Mascaro (c) Page One News - Read full story here.