As they rush to pass a replacement health care bill with as little time for deliberation as possible, Republicans are still complaining that Obamacare—approved in 2010 after a prolonged and tortuous process—was passed too quickly.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas), one of the coauthors of the new Obamacare replacement plan, reiterated that line of attack at a press conference Tuesday morning. “This bill is available to the American public,” Brady said. “Contrast this to the Affordable Care Act: 2,400 pages, written in the dark of night and rushed through Congress. This legislation is a little over 100 pages, and every American can read and understand it. House Republicans promised a deliberate, step-by-step effort to provide relief from Obamacare.”
Democrats spent a year working on the Affordable Care Act, with full hearings in multiple committees in both the House and Senate. In February 2010, President Barack Obama gathered congressional leaders for a bipartisan summit at the White House to discuss the proposal.
Republicans have taken the exact opposite approach for their repeal measure. Last week, they kept the bill under guard by Capitol Hill police so that only Republican House members could read the language. That sent Democrats scrambling to figure out what was in the bill. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went on a stunt chase to try to get access to the bill.
House Republicans finally released the text of the plan on Monday night. Then they scheduled two simultaneous markup hearings for Wednesday morning, less than 48 hours after the release of the bill and almost certainly before the Congressional Budget Office will have had time to conduct an analysis to see how many people would lose or gain insurance under the proposal and how much it will cost taxpayers. After those hearings, Republicans hope to push the bill to a quick vote on both the House and Senate floors before a recess scheduled for next month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he plans not to have the relevant committees in his chamber debate the measure; instead, he will just bring whatever the House passes to a vote on the Senate floor.