HARTFORD, CT — With no opportunity to debate the health care measure being drafted by his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate behind closed doors, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is holding his own “emergency field hearing” Monday, June 19.
“The Republicans have decided they’re going to pass a Republican bill repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Blumenthal said Friday at an unrelated press conference.
He said there are 10 to 13 Senate Republicans drafting a proposal, but there is nothing in writing yet as a result of “this secret process involving only Republicans.”
The only thing that’s public is the legislation the House passed in May, which now Republican President Donald Trump has called “mean.”
“When Donald Trump calls something mean you know that it is really mean,” Blumenthal said.
The House bill, which Trump praised during a Rose Garden press conference following its passage, would strip coverage from 23 million Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Not everyone, including Senate Republicans, are happy with the process.
“They are frustrated that they are stuck with a bill and have no alternative right now,” Blumenthal said Friday. “All of us are frustrated that this process has been secret and nothing yet has been put in writing.”
He said it’s likely they will have to vote on something next week that they haven’t seen and has not yet been put on paper.
“That is a disservice to democracy more than just a problem with American healthcare,” Blumenthal said.
The hearing will be held from 9:05 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday in Room 310 at the state Capitol in Hartford.