Democrats stall Senate work to protest healthcare secrecy

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and kicked off a series of procedural moves for Democrats to take in order to hold the Senate floor Monday night in protest.

The move coincides with a new #AmericaSpeaksOut campaign Senate Democrats launched Monday urging Americans to "speak out against Trumpcare and share their stories". Schumer initially refused, but Senate Democrats said they've grown more frustrated as Republicans have continued to keep details of their bill secret.

Critics have estimated that the House bill would curtail Medicaid by some $800 billion, and some Republican senators from states where Medicaid was expanded under Obama have expressed concern about passing legislation that slashes aid to thousands of constituents.

Weeks in the making during private lunch-time meetings, the Senate bill is likely to reflect the House GOP's effort and loosen Obamacare's provisions to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions. McConnell responded on the Senate floor by saying all 100 senators will be able to make their opinion heard during the legislative debate.

Some Senate Democrats also are preparing to block lengthy committee hearings beginning on Tuesday, although Democratic leaders have not announced or confirmed that decision.

Several senators took turns standing and requesting that the Republican healthcare bill be referred to committee for hearings and calling for the draft text to be published.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants the legislation passed by June 30. Explaining the twisted logic of lawmakers who seem to have forgotten that they serve the public, CNN writes, "Reveal it too soon and criticism from outside conservative groups, independent reviews, and Democrats could have the bill unravel before it hits the floor".

The Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has led to a standoff in the Senate.

"It's an iterative process", Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico, adding that senators in the room are sending options to the Congressional Budget Office to try to figure out in general how much they would cost.

"We've been debating Obamacare's failures and what to do about them for so many years now", McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor.

"We have to be part of the political process like we've never been before", Sanders said.

President Trump had a warning for Republicans complaining that they are being left out.

And not only have the Republicans been crafting this massive piece of legislation in total secrecy, but the uncertainty surrounding their efforts have wreaked havoc on the health care system already in place.

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