Was the Obamacare process really more transparent?

Yahoo News peeks behind the curtain of secrecy surrounding the Republican health care bill to learn what we can about what it may contain. We’ll combine our own reporting with the best insights from around the Internet to give you the latest on the future of health care in America.


Now that Republicans have formally introduced their version of a proposal to repeal Obamacare, their Democratic colleagues are ramping up the opposition into overdrive.

One of the most popular attacks from Democrats on the entire process has been that both the House and Senate versions of the American Health Care Act were written in secrecy, whereas their own efforts to pass Obamacare allowed for committee hearings, public comment and a robust amendment process.

Remarks like these from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., are typical.

“Let me just say, I watched carefully all of the hearings that went on [when Obamacare was passed],” McCaskill said. “I was not a member of this committee at the time, although I would have liked to be. Sen. [Chuck] Grassley was the ranking member. Dozens of Republican amendments were offered and accepted in that hearing process.”

McCaskill then contrasted that process with the current attempts by congressional Republicans to roll back Obamacare.

“We’re not even going to have a hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy. We’re not going to have an opportunity to offer a single amendment,” she continued. “It is all being done with an eye to try to get it by with 50 votes and the vice president.”

But was the process in 2009 and 2010, when Obamacare was passed, really transparent? And how will it compare to what we will see next week, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hopes to have a vote on the repeal proposal?

The biggest differences between the Obamacare and AHCA processes is in the committee hearing process. While Republicans held a small number of meetings in the House on the AHCA and health care reform, no such…

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