When the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, it sent a disturbing message that the Republican Congress didn’t care about the actual health and livelihood of their constituents. Instead, they passed a poorly written bill that could leave 23 million Americans without health insurance. Now, as Senate Republicans work on their own iteration of the bill, they too want to pass it as quickly as possible – and with little transparency to Democrats or time for public review. This move is ironic considering how many of them tweeted back in 2009 and 2010 about how they were kept in the dark during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare.)
Here’s then-Congressman Mike Pence complaining about it:
It’s simply wrong for legislation that’ll affect 100% of the American people to be negotiated behind closed doors – http://ow.ly/W9gq #hcr
– Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) January 13, 2010
Senator John McCain called it a “disgrace.”
Democrats about to pass health care bill that no one’s read – where is the transparency? What a disgrace!
– John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 6, 2009
Senator John Cornyn couldn’t believe Americans were “excluded” from the conversation.
How about the rest of America that was excluded from secret talks: White House nears deal on health care? http://bit.ly/5dK7b6
– JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 15, 2010
Then-Representative Tom Price, now secretary of health and human services, also believed Democrats were “sacrificing the trust of the American people.”
With Democrats discussing health care in secret, they’re sacrificing the trust of the American people.
– Tom Price (@RepTomPrice) January 14, 2010
Several representatives who hastily voted for the AHCA also complained previously about Obamacare.
Congress Should Not Draft The Health Care Bill In Secret,All Conference Committee Meetings Should Be Open To The Public http://bit.ly/10tio1
– Rep. Vern Buchanan (@VernBuchanan) October 19, 2009
The American people do not want health care reform negotiated behind closed doors and neither do I. http://tinyurl.com/yeax5ee
– Rep. Walter Jones (@RepWalterJones) January 6, 2010
Despite these tweets, Obamacare did undergo plenty of debate before it was up for a vote. On June 19, Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon pointed out how many hearings and amendments Obamacare had before passing: 100 hearings, roundtables, and walkthroughs and 161 amendments. The AHCA? Absolutely none. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also refused to answer Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s question about whether the Senate will have more than 10 hours to look at the bill. What a “disgrace” indeed.