"The average Republican doesn't even know what's in that legislation": Bernie Sanders blasts GOP on health care

On "Face the Nation" Bernie Sanders criticized the Republicans for their closed-door process, and he wasn't alone


Charlie May
June 18, 2017 5:16PM (UTC)

On Sunday Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., said it was "completely unacceptable" that the Senate Republicans have been secretively handling their health care proposal that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in a closed-door process.

During an interview on "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson asked Sanders if he was on board with halting all Senate business because Senate Republicans are designing their health care bill in total secrecy. "I believe it is 10 Republicans working behind closed doors to address 1/6th of the American economy. That's what health care is. Republicans. The average Republican doesn't even know what's in that legislation," Sanders explained.

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"My understanding is that it will be brought forth just immediately before we have to vote on it. This is completely unacceptable," he added. "I mean, nobody can defend a process which will impact tens of millions of Americans and nobody even knows what's in the legislation."

The most important part, according to Sanders, is that the Republicans have purposely kept the proposal hidden because "it's a disastrous bill."

"Who is going to defend cutting Medicaid by $800 billion at the same time as you give massive tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent? So they want to keep it secret. They don't want the media involved. They don't want members of Congress involved. And in the last minute, they present it. They push it through," Sanders explained.

Sanders also said that the health care bill that passed in the House at the beginning of May was "the worst piece of legislation frankly against working class people that I can remember in my political life in the Congress."

But Sanders is far from the only one who has taken issue with the closed-door process, even some Republicans have spoken out about it. On Sunday Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., who was also on "Face the Nation" criticized his own colleagues and said, "The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor."

"Especially on an issue like this," Rubio added.

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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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American Health Care Act Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Gop Health Care

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