Why a Former Republican Senator Is Urging Congress Not to Vote for Health Care Bill

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Posted: Jul 24, 2017 11:00 AM
Why a Former Republican Senator Is Urging Congress Not to Vote for Health Care Bill

Republican senators need to ask more questions and hold more hearings before moving forward on a vote on the GOP-lead health care bill, former Sen. David Durenberger (R-MN) implored his colleagues Monday. 

Durenberger recalled his own experience in Congress, explaining how he voted against President Carter's plan to use Medicare and Medicaid to limit increases in hospital budgets during a time of inflation. He sees parallels to today, as the GOP attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare. In an op-ed for USA Today, Durenberger suggested that the Republican health care process is reminiscent of how the Democrats enacted Obamacare - without properly reading the fine print.

He urged Republicans not to proceed. There are just too many unknowns.

  • Without knowing what will be in the bill you would vote on.
  • Without knowing what the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office will say about the impact of major amendments and the final bill on coverage and premiums.
  • With full knowledge that the Senate parliamentarian, who rules on what can and can't be allowed in a budget bill, has said that the Senate must remove provisions intended to prevent an insurance market death spiralof sicker patients driving up costs.
  • Without knowing the details of the secret state Medicaid waivers the Trump administration insists will make the bill work.
  • Without knowing how your own state budget will be impacted.
  • Without knowing how you will defend the provisions you will only learn about later, including the payoffs and other things that will be sneaked into the bill at the last minute.
  • Without even knowing which bill you are being asked to vote on, what the defining amendments will be and how much time you will have when being pressed for a final vote you’ll be stuck with. Forever.

Despite these questions marks, senators are being bullied into voting for the mystery bill. He is urging them to resist.

"A no vote on the Motion to Proceed this week is the only one that will be defensible in the years to come."

President Trump has indicated he has no plans to do any more waiting on the GOP. On Sunday he said they better get a bill together quick - or else.