Last week a video of Senator Claire McCaskill (D) went viral. She was asking for information from the Senate Finance Committee on the proposal to repeal The Affordable Care Act. Why? Because neither she nor her colleagues in the Senate had an opportunity to review it. The video made clear that the Senate Republicans are deliberately trying to keep Senate Democrats and the American people in the dark about the newest attempt to repeal the ACA (aka Obamacare).

Not only have they have not allowed the Democrats to see it, which of course prevents them from being able to offer amendments to it; they have not done anything to inform the American public as to what is in their proposal. We don’t know if they are eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions. We don’t know if they are going to charge women extra for maternity care or birth control. The House proposal would have raised premiums on the elderly by an astonishing 800%. Will this legislation do the same? Will it be more?

It is an astonishing if not disgusting lack of leadership. Rather than making decisions and standing by them, they are hiding beneath them.

They clearly don’t care that millions of people will be impacted by their decisions. What they are hoping is that we will not pay attention.

They are counting on us being tired of the fight, the resistance necessary to survive in Trump’s America.

It is disingenuous when they suggest they want Democratic support and that they are not doing anything that the Democrats didn’t do when passing Obamacare. Nothing could be further from the truth as Senator McCaskill reminded us; they had an opportunity to review the proposed legislation and offered amendments that were accepted.

The GOP have made no secret that the only thing, and I mean the only thing they care about is their party. If they cared about Americans and representing their constituents they wouldn’t do this in secret. They would allow the public to register their support or displeasure. Instead, they are only trying to please the different factions within the Republican party. Conservatives and moderates (a laughable term these days) are trying to find common ground. The conservatives would like nothing better than to end coverage of pre-existing care and Medicaid and Medicare. The moderates know they can’t get reelected if they follow that path. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is trying to bridge that gap, all behind closed doors.

According to Sarah Kliff at Vox,

The Republican plan is coming together because moderate senators are beginning to drop some of their initial repeal objections. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), for example, now back a plan to end the Medicaid expansion.

So even though the American public overwhelming supports keeping Obamacare and fixing what doesn’t work the Republicans have made clear they aren’t interested in our opinion. Repealing a major achievement of President Obama, one that has helped to insure more than 20 million people who previously uninsured is more important. People will die and get sicker if the GOP has its way.

It is time to call, write, tweet, email and stand against a party who has no ethics and who has lost any version of a heart.

-Jan Harrison

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