Obamacare, for all its flaws, went through a months long process of debate and revision in both chambers of Congress. The bill was drawn up starting early in 2009, but the final vote wasn’t until March of 2010. The bill was long and complex enough that not everyone understood every aspect of it, and some of the analysis of its provisions turned out to be wrong. But all the major components were available for public scrutiny before the key votes.
If House Republicans pass a bill that was substantially rewritten the night before the vote, that won’t be true of the AHCA.
House Republicans won’t have read it, and neither will most of their staffers, or knowledgeable outside analysists. The manager’s amendment, meanwhile, which was released after work hours on Monday evening, included a provision specifically targeted at New York state legislators, in hopes of bringing their votes on board, that was never debated before being tacked on to the amendment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell has stated his intention to vote on the upper chamber version of the plan next week. If that happens, will legislators have had sufficient opportunity to read, analyze, and debate the bill? As Boehner would say, hell no.
The rush to vote on the bill is itself a reason to be deeply skeptical of its merits, especially given the problems we have seen with drafts so far.