(Getty/Win McNamee/Luke Sharrett)

Republicans are secretly reviewing their new health care bill inside a basement

House Republicans are taking impressive security measures to prevent leaks of their newly drafted health care bil


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Charlie May
March 2, 2017 10:04PM (UTC)

House Republicans are expected to be releasing their long-awaited health care plan on Thursday — the one that they say will replace Obamacare. The problem is, only other House Republicans are allowed to see it.

“We’re not hatching some bill in a backroom and plopping it on the American people’s front door,” House Speaker Paul Ryan had told NBC’s "Today" show on Tuesday.

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Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which authored the drafted legislation, told the Washington Examiner that only Republicans will receive access to the bill. It also must be viewed in the basement of a building that adjoins the Capitol, and no one is allowed to make a copy.

The measure will be reviewed next Wednesday in committee and expected to look similar to proposals that conservatives have already criticized. The bill will include replacing Affordable Care Act subsidies with refundable tax credits and converting Medicaid expansion into a block grant system controlled by the states.

Republicans are taking extreme measures to prevent the leaking of drafts. According to Bloomberg, the bill hasn't yet been reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office, which will provide a "score" on the cost. The budget office will also provide an estimate of how many people will receive insurance under the plan. Democrats are worried that repealing the Affordable Care Act will result in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans, meaning the Congressional Budget Office score is really important.

“It looks like, unfortunately, based on the delays, we may be marking it up and voting on it before we have a score,” Collins said.

Even Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had some harsh words to say about the confidential procedures the House Republicans are taking.

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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Affordable Care Act Obamacare Paul Ryan Rand Paul Republicans

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