Meet the 13 Male Senators Deciding on Your Health Care Behind Closed Doors

Time/Money – By Elizabeth O’Brien and Sergei Klebnikov – June 22, 2017

Photo: The 13 GOP Senators forming the new Healthcare bill.

The most closely guarded piece of writing this summer isn’t the new season of Game of Thrones —it’s the GOP Senate’s health care bill.

For the last several weeks, media outlets have reported that 13 Senate Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors to discuss legislation that could lead to millions fewer Americans having health coverage—and make it hard for many people with pre-existing conditions to buy an affordable plan. While Vox and The New York Times have reported the names of the 13 members, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t even confirm the existence of the group in an email to MONEY, pointing instead to working lunches that include all 52 Republican senators.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the American Health Care Act, the health care bill passed by the House last month, would cause 23 million people to lose coverage by 2026, compared with current law, and that coverage would grow increasingly expensive for less healthy individuals. Republicans in the Senate vowed to start over, but from what little has leaked of their proposal, lawmakers are planning tweaks to the House version and not a wholesale revision.

McConnell has said he wants to bring the bill to the full Senate for a vote ahead of Congress’ July 4 recess. If he succeeds in gathering 50 votes to pass the legislation, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking 51st vote, then President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Yet with less than eight full working days to go, the group has not released a draft of the legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare. Senate Democrats on Monday began a campaign to thwart the Senate’s regular business to protest their colleagues’ lack of transparency. Axios reported Tuesday that McConnell plans to release a “discussion draft” of the bill on Thursday.

Who are these 13 senators? MONEY took a look at their public statements as well as their biggest donors, using data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Biggest donors: Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare, a health care services company, was the third-largest contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2011 to 2016, donating $104,650. Health insurer Humana was number 4, with $103,300 in donations. Financial firm Blackstone Group came in first with $217,700 in donations.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Sen Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Read entire article here for list of donors

PS These guys must go! Do not vote them in, again, to the Senate if they go through with this insane healthcare plan.

Posted by Teri Perticone


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