Despite 7 Years to Plan, Republicans Forcing Late, Mystery Vote on ACA Repeal

As soon as the ACA was signed into law, Republicans began in earnest their 7-year crusade to repeal the law that as of today has allowed over 20 million previously uninsured Americans to gain health insurance, and is now more popular than ever.

  • On the very same day that President Obama signed the ACA into law, a group of 14 attorneys-general filed a lawsuit to challenge it.
  • Republicans engaged in stunningly dishonest attacks, even earning Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” for whoppers suggesting that the ACA had “death panels” and was a “government takeover.”
  • The House alone voted more than 60 times on largely symbolic votes to repeal the law.
  • In 2013 Republicans brought our government to a halt by injecting their opposition into unrelated deliberations about the federal budget, culminating in a shutdown that was estimated to have cost our economy $24 billion.
  • In the four national election cycles since the law’s enactment, Republican candidates and outside groups have spent more than $666 million on at least 1.3 million anti-Obamacare ads.

Despite all of their antics, Republicans are still not ready with a replacement plan and have worked in secret and behind closed doors to try and force a bill through, without making it available to the public.

  • Republicans in the House scrambled to come up with a bill and held no hearings on the final version of the AHCA:
    • The House Republicans crafted their legislation behind closed doors, shutting out Democrats, health care experts, and the American public.
    • They moved so quickly that numerous members openly admitted that they hadn’t even read it.
    • House Republicans purposefully, but irresponsibly held the final vote before a final score could be issued by the CBO.
  • Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate charted a similar course:
    • They engaged in an unprecedented level of secrecy to delay the inevitable backlash to their cruel bill.
    • In a stark contrast with how the ACA was handled by Senate Democrats in 2009-2010, the Senate GOP’s process bypassed committees and lacked any hearings or markups.
    • McConnell tapped a crew of 13 Republicans – all white men with little expertise – to craft a bill that would ultimately degrade women’s access to health care.

Now the Senate is looking to force a vote on a mystery bill.  Nobody knows what it will ultimately look like, but we do know that between 22 and 32 million more Americans could lose their insurance.

Senator John Cornyn: “Asked whether senators want to know the plan before they vote, Mr. Cornyn said that was ‘a luxury we don’t have.’” 

New York Times: “The majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, remained unswerving in his drive toward a vote next week on a procedural motion to begin debating health care. But he has not specified which version of the legislation he intends to put before the Senate. In effect, he is asking 50 senators to roll the dice and hope they land on an option they can work with.”

Washington Post: “So McConnell has resorted to a plan C: bringing to the floor an anti-ACA bill passed by the House this spring and allowing senators a sort of free-for-all for substituting in either of the Senate measures or new iterations.”

CNN: “Republicans are returning uncertain on what their leadership is asking for them to vote on and there is no indication that the votes are even close to being there.”