When the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal passed the House back in May, Republican leaders celebrated in the White House Rose Garden. But now that the health care bill has been passed to the Senate, Mitch McConnell and his health care working group are being extremely secretive.
These politicians are hiding their disastrous legislation from public eyes, only to ram it through this month so they don’t have to face constituents on their home turf during congressional recess next month.
Here’s what’s happening
McConnell is drafting the Trumpcare bill behind closed doors—and we have every reason to believe it will include “defunding” Planned Parenthood by blocking millions of patients from care. At the last possible moment, McConnell will release the bill text, and the Senate will vote on it; with no hearings, barely any time for the public to read it, let alone understand it.
What’s in this bill? No one knows
Behind closed doors and without public input, Republican leaders are scheming to “defund” Planned Parenthood and take away healthcare from millions.
As Julie Rovner, a veteran reporter who has covered health care since 1986, points out, none of this is normal.
"The extreme secrecy is a situation without precedent, at least in creating health care law,” she writes in the Atlantic. Contrast that with the vigorous debate involved in passing the Affordable Care Act.—Julie Rovner
Many of us remember how much public debate was involved in passing the Affordable Care Act back in 2009. As Sarah Kliff points out in Vox, Senators spent hours debating the bill and it all took place on C-SPAN for the public to see.
“Senators wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and why they believed they needed to pass it,” Kliff writes. “They gave floor speech after floor speech defending its provisions. Patients had months to lobby their legislators on particular issues that they thought were important.”
Now in 2017, Senate Republicans have suggested banning the press from conducting interviews in congressional hallways.
Not even Republican leaders know what’s in the bill
As the health care bill remains shrouded in secrecy, some Senate republicans have suggested that they don’t even know what’s in the legislation.
As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) explained to Vox,
"I don't know what it is that will actually come forward. This has been part of my frustration. What's the Senate bill going to look like? I don't know."—Sen. Lisa Murkowski
And those on the health care working group—which is comprised of 13 male Senators and zero female Senators—have indicated they’re unclear on the legislation. “Join the crowd,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said to a reporter on not knowing the bill’s details. Even Trump’s disastrous Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, said at a senate hearing that he hadn’t seen the bill.
Does this make you angry? Here’s what you can do.
This is urgent. When a vote comes, we won’t have any warning — so it’s critical we turn up the pressure on our Senators now, whether they’re with us or against us.
1. Call your Senator
We need you to tell your Senator that you’re a part of the overwhelming majority that OPPOSES blocking patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Thousands in your state could lose access to care because of these attacks on Planned Parenthood. Letters, petitions and emails are important, but we know that calls have the largest impact and grab lawmakers’ attention.
2. #PinkOut the Internet
You can also show your Senators that Planned Parenthood has a sea of supporters by helping us #PinkOut the internet on June 21st.
We’ve got to show the Senate we’re a force to be reckoned with.
Take a photo and post it to social media on June 21st. Pink lights on your door. Pink signs in your window. Pink buttons on your bag. Pink outfit, pink nails, pink lips. Pink hair!
Then post it all to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat—you name it! Be sure to use the hashtag #IStandWithPP, and tag your Senators.
Also, be sure to change your profile picture to show your community you stand with PP. Go to twibbon.com/support/istandwithpp-2 to change yours.
3. Tag Your Senators on Facebook
Senators (and their staff) will notice when you tag them. And believe us, they’re listening. Text PINK to 22422 to get to our unbelievably simple form at ppaction.org/post, which tags your Senators and gives you a chance to edit the post. Personalize your message, and then share the tool with your friends!