These Past Statements Show the Staggering Hypocrisy of the GOP

June 20th 2017

Mike Rothschild

Democrats are accusing Republicans of writing their replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Health Care Act (ACHA), in secret, with virtually no public hearing or available text.

But this is the same accusation Republicans made in 2009 when the ACA was being written. And now, old Republican tweets, written by everyone from Vice President Mike Pence (who was in Congress at the time) to Senators and Representatives, are being dredged up as examples of the staggering hypocrisy involved in the GOP complaining about Obamacare's secrecy, while passing its replacement in even more secrecy.

Because of the unprecedented opaqueness of the process, almost nothing is known about the Senate bill.

But the House version has a number of extremely alarming proposals, that would make health care more difficult and expensive to obtain for millions of people.

The House bill was estimated to lead to as many as 24 million people losing their health insurance or being unable to obtain new coverage, due to subsidies being ended and the return of pre-existing condition exclusions.

Beyond that, as ATTN: previously detailed, two surveys that were released in June show the full extent of what the AHCA could do to the economy.

The House bill brings lifetime limits on care back, after they were banned by the ACA. According to the Center for American Progress, this could "erode or eliminate financial protections for about 27 million workers and their dependents," including some on employer policies.

And while Obamacare is falsely criticized for its "job killing regulations," the AHCA could see as many as 1 million jobs wiped out over the next ten years due to fewer people making use of the health care industry, according to a study by the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University.

The return of their old tweets highlights another GOP fiction. For years, Republicans have complained that Obamacare was passed as the result of secret backroom deals, excluded the traditional committees and hearings that come with major legislation, and that nobody had been allowed to know what was in it.

But as laid out by the Washington Post, the history of the bill is much less salacious than what Republicans were pushing at the time.

After months of meetings, a draft bill began circulating Capitol Hill in July 2009. After more hearings and meetings, the ACA passed the House on Nov. 9, and a new version was introduced into the Senate in December.

After a 25-day debate, the bill was passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve, passed again by the House in January 2010 (because it was a substantially different bill), and signed by former President Barack Obama in March after amendments and further debate.

In contrast, the AHCA was first introduced into the House on March 20, and passed by just a few votes six weeks later. The Senate began a secret process to draft a new version of the bill, involving 13 male Senators drafting documents that are being kept from the public.

A potentially harmful bill written in secret is exactly what Senate Republicans are doing, and exactly what they accused Democrats of doing in 2009.