Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a 1,990 page House version of Obamacare, yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has yet to release the Senate version of Obamacare. On Monday, Reid announced that the secret negotiations on Obamacare had come to an agreement and he was submitting that legislation to the Congressional Budget Office. This was followed by Senator Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) announcement on Tuesday that he may join a filibuster of Obamacare putting Obamacare in critical condition.
The National Journal’s Congress Daily (subscription required) reported that Reid “is angling for a favorable CBO score on his health proposals to win support from deficit hawks, even as he keeps those senators, and everyone else, largely in the dark. The secrecy might make sense as a strategy because it prevents an unfavorable score from getting out, but it does not make it easy to nail down senators on their votes on a motion to proceed to the bill.” Clearly the secret and non-transparent nature of the crafting of Obamacare is part of a plan to pull a fast one on the American people.Congress Daily further reported that the secret negotiations are down to Reid and Emanuel. “The administration was in on those Reid-Baucus-Dodd meetings as well, but when asked if consultation would continue, the aide replied “Reid talks to [White House Chief of Staff Emanuel] all the time.” There was no mention of White House health care czar Nancy Ann DeParle or OMB Director Orszag. Reid sent multiple draft proposals to CBO Monday and plans to ‘cherry-pick the best scores/language and put that in the final bill,’ the aide said.” This is further evidence that there are multiple versions of this bill and Reid is going to make the decision on what version of Obamacare the Senate considers.
The problem is that this bill is still not public today and Reid has been extremely tight lipped about his melding of the two Senate health care bills. When contacted by The Foundry, Reid’s staff refused to answer simple questions such as: Does the bill contain actual legislative language, or is it a framework like the original Finance Committee version? How many pages is the bill? And when do you intend to release the bill to the public?
The Congressional Budget Office also refused requests by The Foundry to answer the simple question of whether they had received a bill yet from Senator Reid.
The House has just unveiled their final version of a complete overhaul of America’s health care system. Pelosi announced during the roll out of the bill today that it would be available for viewing on the House website. However, the Senator who represents Las Vegas continues to keep his poker face up and his cards down, because the Senate bill is not yet publicly available. The American people and all of their elected representatives in Congress deserve to know what’s in the Senate version of a bill that may propose a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy.
Co-authored by Shawn Ryan.