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McCain: Russians Probably Know More About The Health-Care Bill Than Senators Do

Details about a proposed health-care bill are so secret, lawmakers do not know how to vote on the measure, which is scheduled to reach the Senate floor next week.

Newsmax reported that when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was asked whether he had seen a draft of the legislation, he replied: “No, nor have I met any American that has. I’m sure the Russians have been able to hack in and gotten most of it.” Another GOP senator, Mike Lee of Utah, told Bloomberg News: “I haven’t seen it yet, either.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that he intends to give his fellow senators a “discussion draft” on Thursday. A floor vote on the bill will take place “likely next week,” the Kentucky Republican said. Lee, a member of the Senate’s health-care working group, argued that a week is an insufficient time for lawmakers to study the measure. He expressed his concern in a Facebook video.

“Even though we thought we were going to be in charge of writing a bill within this working group, it’s not being written by us,” Lee said. “It’s apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate. So if you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration. I share it wholeheartedly.”

Several GOP senators told Bloomberg they are uncertain whether they will back the bill, the Senate version of the House-passed American Health Care Act that would replace Obamacare. “I’m very eager to see the language,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “I don’t think it gives enough time to thoroughly analyze the bill, but we’ll see when it comes out.” Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania also indicated they will not make a decision on the legislation until after they have read it.

Lawmakers cannot get the answers they need by reviewing the AHCA because the Senate is drafting different language. “I wouldn’t want to compare it to the House bill,” McConnell said. “It’ll be different; take a different approach.” He pledged that “everyone will have adequate time to take a look at it.” However, Bloomberg noted that the legislation is the subject of closed-door negotiations, and no Senate committee has scheduled a hearing.

Because the Republican majority in the Senate is a slim 52-48, McConnell is expected to invoke the so-called “nuclear option.” That would mean the bill could pass with the support of only 50 senators, assuming that Vice President Mike Pence casts a tie-breaking vote. No Democrat is expected to back the measure. The nuclear option would prevent the minority party from conducting a filibuster, which takes 60 votes to end.

Democrats are also criticizing the lack of information being provided about the measure. “No one in America” knows what is in it, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., declared. He slammed McConnell for planning to permit just 10 hours of debate on the Senate floor. The legislation is the “textbook example of a mean bill,” according to Schumer. He was repeating President Trump’s recent remark that the AHCA is “mean.”

Schumer alleged that Republicans are “sabotaging” Obamacare’s marketplace system. The House bill calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts in the health-insurance subsidies that low-income people receive through the Affordable Care Act, while rewarding the rich with huge tax breaks.

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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