Former GOP lawmaker warns senators: Don't vote for 'mystery' healthcare bill

Former GOP lawmaker warns senators: Don't vote for 'mystery' healthcare bill
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A former GOP senator is urging Republicans to "resist the bullying" and not support a vote on a "mystery" healthcare bill.

When the president wants you to vote for a bill that could "radically change health care," you ask questions and hold hearings, former Sen. David Durenberger (R-Minn.) wrote in a piece published Monday in USA Today.

"You understand what it would mean to your constituents," he added. "You listen to those who know the system. And when it doesn’t add up, you vote against it."


Durenberger cited his own experience in 1979, when he said President Carter wanted "to use Medicare and Medicaid to limit increases in hospital budgets in the face of rapidly inflating costs."

"Ultimately, I decided to vote against it as it would end up hurting the people of my state and was inconsistent with my beliefs," he wrote.

Now, the Senate is being asked to approve a motion to proceed to a vote on a bill to repeal ObamaCare, he added, without knowing "what will be in the bill you would vote on."

He said senators also don't know what the Congressional Budget Office will say about the "impact of major amendments and the final bill on coverage and premiums" and are not aware of how their own states' budgets will be impacted.

"A vote in these circumstances will rightly provoke anger and distrust unlikely to abate. Take it from me: A no vote on the Motion to Proceed this week is the only one that will be defensible in the years to come," he wrote.

He continued: "Never in all my years did I experience the level of bullying we see today. It doesn't look good in Minnesota, and I suspect it doesn’t look any better in your state."

The Republican Party can do much better, he said, adding that it should be clear to those listening to their constituents that "voting on this hodgepodge of mysterious bills is not the way."

"Because there are no do-overs. The vote for the Motion To Proceed is likely a vote for final passage, and the House clearly stands ready to pass the Senate bill unchanged," he said.

"For those who worry about re-election politics, I can assure you that going into a campaign confident that you've done what’s best for every one of your constituents, not just for those who want to stick you with a stale slogan, is the best medicine you’ll ever have prescribed for you."

Senate Republicans plan to vote this week on revised healthcare legislation. But the legislation faces a number of serious challenges.
President Trump on Monday tweeted that Republicans have a "last chance to do the right thing on Repeal & Replace after years of talking & campaigning on it."