Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined Senate Democrats in introducing the “No Hearing, No Vote Act” to require a public committee hearing for any legislation that goes through the fast-tracked “budget reconciliation” process – including the TrumpCare legislation. Republicans are currently drafting the bill — which would replace the Affordable Care Act — behind closed doors without plans to hold a hearing. Under the “No Hearing, No Vote Act,” TrumpCare would not be permitted to receive a full Senate vote until each of its major provisions have been examined in a public committee hearing.
Despite the fact that the Republican TrumpCare bill would affect one-sixth of the economy and millions of Americans’ health care, Senate Republicans are using a fast-tracked method known as “reconciliation” to move their bill forward, enabling them to circumvent regular order in the Senate, limit debate, and pass their legislation with a party-line vote. The “No Hearing, No Vote Act” would require any legislation going through this fast-tracked reconciliation process — including TrumpCare — to receive a full committee hearing and vote before being considered by the full Senate.
“New Mexicans deserve to know what’s in the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,” Udall said. “It’s no wonder why this bill is being hidden from the American people behind closed doors — without any public hearings or any bipartisan support. The TrumpCare bill that was rushed through the House is indefensible and would be devastating for New Mexico, stripping hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans of health care and taking away critical protections for women, seniors, children, and people with pre-existing conditions, all to give the richest Americans a huge tax break. Patients, rural hospitals, providers, and Tribes who will be affected by this bill – in New Mexico and across the country — should have the chance to make their concerns heard in open, public hearings. With so much on the line, I’m not going to stand by as Washington Republicans try to force this disastrous bill on New Mexico."
“President Trump and Republicans in the House rushed through a disastrous plan that would leave New Mexicans paying more for less health coverage and would throw our health care system into chaos,” said Heinrich. “And now, Senate Republicans are drafting their version of the bill in secret, behind closed doors, with no bipartisan input. This lack of transparency is unacceptable and irresponsible, especially when millions of people stand to lose their health coverage.”