HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 100
(Senate - June 13, 2017)

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[Pages S3415-S3416]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, finally on healthcare, there are only 11 
calendar days of Senate business left before the July 4th recess, and 
yet Republicans are looking to vote on a final healthcare bill before 
the deadline, and not a soul outside the Republican caucus has seen the 
bill. I am not sure that every Member of the Republican caucus inside 
has seen it.
  To everyone in America, this should be a red alert. This should be a 
red alert for doctors, hospital administrators, and patient groups, 
groups that represent older Americans, groups that fight for children's 
healthcare, groups that fight for better treatment for substance abuse 
and mental health. This should be a red alert for working families 
across this country whose lives depend on affordable healthcare and yet 
have no earthly idea what their representatives in Congress might pass 
in just 2 short weeks.
  They might never know. The Republicans have not scheduled a single 
committee hearing--not one--not a single committee hearing on a bill 
that would reorganize one-sixth of the American economy, touch the 
lives of millions of Americans--a life-and-death issue for some--not a 
single committee hearing or public debate on a bill that would 
potentially change drastically the way Medicaid is funded, the way 
women are treated in our healthcare system, the way we treat older 
Americans and those with preexisting conditions.
  Why on Earth haven't we had a single committee hearing on a bill of 
this magnitude? Why on Earth is this bill being hidden from public 
  There is only one reason. The Republican majority is afraid of the 
American people learning what is in their healthcare bill. They don't 
want the American people to know how much they cut and destroy Medicaid 
or how fat of a tax break they give to the wealthiest few because they 
know the backlash would be severe. In short, by their actions, it seems 
our Republican colleagues are ashamed of this bill, and they know their 
chances of passing the Republican healthcare bill would plummet if they 
release a bill that looks anything like the House healthcare bill, 
which only a tiny sliver of Americans support--17 percent in the last 
poll. The majority of Republicans and the majority of Trump voters are 
opposed to TrumpCare.
  So our Republican colleagues have made a calculation, which is 
ultimately self-defeating, to keep their healthcare bill hidden from 
view under lock and key until the last possible moment. Maybe this is 
the only strategy to pass a bill as unpopular as this

[[Page S3416]]

bill is going to be. Maybe it will shield their bill from criticism in 
the short term, but make no mistake, there will be a reckoning if this 
bill is passed.
  Passing a bill of this scale, with so many consequences for the 
American people, without telling them what is in it, without telling 
them how they would fare, the political retribution will be swift. It 
will be a catastrophe for the Republican Party. I am afraid, worse, 
this bill will be a catastrophe for the American people.
  I yield the floor.