Health Care Watch, Day 39: GOP Still Hiding From Public

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Jeff Stein explains in a nutshell why Republicans are hellbent on hiding their health care bill from the public:

As long as Republicans keep everything tightly under wraps, there’s nothing new for reporters to write about. And if there’s nothing new to write about, it won’t get covered.

This is the same strategy that Donald Trump followed with his tax returns. What are reporters going to do? Write a story every day that tells us Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns? Of course not. So the whole topic disappeared during the campaign except on the rare occasions when something happened to leak out about Trump’s taxes.

The Senate health care bill will take away insurance from millions. It will slash Medicaid. It will wipe out Obamacare’s promise of coverage for essential benefits. It will gut protections for pre-existing conditions. It will reduce subsidies for the poor and working class. And it will give millionaires a big tax break.

How do I know this? Technically, I don’t. Like everyone else, I haven’t seen a draft of the bill. I haven’t watched any hearings. I haven’t read a CBO score. I haven’t heard from the Senate parliamentarian about what she plans to allow under reconciliation rules.

But let’s get serious. I know the bill is going to do these things because it’s a Republican bill. This is what they’ve been promising to do for years. If they had undergone a change of heart, they wouldn’t be keeping their deliberations secret, would they? They’re keeping their bill secret because they know it’s both heartless and massively unpopular, and they want liberals to have as little time as possible to generate any outrage about it. So they’re going to finish the bill, get it on the floor, and vote fast before the working-class public has a chance to realize how badly they’re getting screwed for the benefit of the rich.

Everyone knows this. It’s shameless. But it’s also working. As long as what Republicans are doing stays off the front page and the nightly news, it’s a win.

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If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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