Health Care

Democrats Tie Up The Senate To Protest GOP Health Care Push

Democrats Tie Up The Senate To Protest GOP Health Care Push

The bill is shaping up to have a similar structure as the House's bill, while more reflecting the principles of centrist Republicans in both chambers.

McConnell, in a Senate floor speech, said Obamacare has increased costs and reduced choice, causing Americans to drop coverage. President Donald Trump recently called the AHCA "mean" and asked senators to craft a bill that is "more generous". In a video, several female senators shared their constituents' stories.

But it's not as easy as simply summarizing the priorities of the 52-member Senate Republican conference.

"The Senate is making tweaks, but those changes, you know, are relatively minor in the greater scheme of things, and still result with the same outcome as the House bill", Park said.

Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada are considered the most vulnerable Republicans in the 2018 cycle and faced a twin assault from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which launched full-screen web ads aimed at mobile viewers and "cord-cutters" who don't watch regular cable TV, and a seven-figure radio and television buy from the left-leaning Community Catalyst Action Fund. "People (are) working in secret on a bill that they're going to try to force through Congress with no public input, no hearings, no meetings, no markups, no debate, no public accountability", he said in the talk-a-thon, which dragged into a fifth hour. Republicans have signaled one of the main internal debates focuses on reforms to Medicaid, the health care program for low-income people.

Senate Republicans have said they have no plans to publicly release the draft health care bill. The Senate is not expected to hold any hearings.

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Other senators joined in to make similar comparisons or to request the bill to go before a committee - to which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected on the floor. Sticking points for Republicans are centered around proposed cuts to Medicaid, taxes related to the ACA, and funding for Planned Parenthood.

With just 10 legislative days before McConnell's deadline, all that most lawmakers and the public have to work on is the House bill, which a non-partisan congressional review predicted would leave 23 million fewer people insured over the next decade.

A senior aide told CBS News' Steven Portnoy that Democrats will begin a series of parliamentary moves at 4 p.m. ET Monday in an effort to slow the Senate agenda.

While Senate Republicans are busy drafting their health care plan behind closed doors, The Hill has speculated on where they might be headed.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter Monday to the chairmen of the Senate Finance, Budget, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees, demanding that they hold open hearings on the GOP healthcare bill.