(NBC News) – Today we could get our first look at the Senate’s plan to replace Obamacare.
Leaders have agreed to release a draft after lawmakers on both sides complained they’re being kept in the dark.
Hoping to avoid more angry town halls during the July 4 break, Republicans are expected to unveil a draft of their health plan this week. “It’ll speak for itself, it’ll be different, and take a different approach,” said Senate Majority Leader Senator, Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Democrats complain it’s being crafted in secret. They’re pushing for public hearings. “We have NO details on what Republicans are cooking up behind closed doors,” said Senator Chris Coons, (D) Delaware.
Even some of the 13 members who are supposed to be writing it say they haven’t seen any details. “Even though I’ve been a member of this working group, among Senate Republicans, assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this, I haven’t seen the bill,” said Senator Mike Lee, (R) Utah.
Lawmakers want to know what will it cost and whether premiums will go up, and by how much.
Lawmakers also want to know how quickly the plan would roll back Medicaid and insurance for the poor, but they fear the worst. “It’s going to be devastating – because the states are going to have to pick it up and the state CAN’T pick it up,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), California.
“The President clearly wants a bill that has heart in it,” said White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.
Republicans can only afford to lose two votes. “We just need three – three individuals to say – ‘this is no way – I would NOT want this done to me,” said Senator Cory Booker, (D) New Jersey.
They’re pushing for a vote next week.
Unlike the House plan that passed before lawmakers got an updated cost, the Senate has to get those numbers from the Congressional Budget Office before they vote.