FRANKFORT, KY — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blasted his fellow GOP members on Thursday for keeping the proposed replacement for Obamacare in the dark.
“I have been told that the House Obamacare bill is under lock & key, in a secure location, & not available for me or the public to view,” physician and son of fellow Republican Ron Paul tweeted.
“This is unacceptable. This is the biggest issue before Congress and the American people right now.”
As reported by Bloomberg (https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-01/republicans-hide-latest-obamacare-draft-under-shroud-of-secrecy) , the House Republicans’ new version of the replacement bill is being kept in a “dedicated reading room,” in an effort to prevent leaks. GOP leaders say the bill, which has been the center of a wealth of speculation, will be released once it has been finalized.
In an online rant, Paul accused House leaders of not wanting to admit to creating a watered down version of ObamaCare, and demanded that the details of the bill be released in full.
“What is the House leadership trying to hide? My guess is, they are trying to hide their “Obamacare Lite” approach” Paul tweeted. “Renaming and keeping parts of Obamacare, new entitlements and extending medicaid expansion are not the #FullRepeal we promised.”
“House and Senate passed repeal in 2015. They should keep their promises and bring them up again for a vote now,” Paul continued. “I demand the House release the text of the bill. Every elected official & every American deserve to know what they’re trying to do.”
Paul’s anger follows a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans that was held on Wednesday to discuss a strategy for repealing the controversial healthcare law.
In an address to the media, Paul said he was told the bill was essentially a ‘take it or leave it’.
“I think that’s why it’s top secret,” he said. “Why don’t they want us to see it? The only copy we’ve seen is from the media — does that sound to you backwards?”
“We saw a leaked copy that the media was given that we weren’t given,” he continued. “Now we’re told that it’s being classified, that the hearing is like a security clearance hearing, you have to have a clearance and permission.”
The bill is expected to be made available today to certain of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“I’m assuming anybody else will be turned away,” said Paul.