Healthcare

Republicans are here to disabuse you of the notion that elected representatives actually read bills

“That’s why we have staff.”

Healthcare

76
Minutes it would take to read the entire text of the American Health Care Act of 2017. Still, some Republicans who voted for it did not read it.
Healthcare

Republicans are here to disabuse you of the notion that elected representatives actually read bills

“That’s why we have staff.”

You didn't think Congressional Republicans would actually read the revised version of the American Health Care Act yesterday before passing it, did you? Bless your heart.

Even though self-styled wonk Paul Ryan said in 2009 that, “I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read,” multiple Republicans have explained that they did not read the text of the new bill for various reasons, including baseball practice (John Shimkus of Illinois) and the fact that they have people to do that.

When asked if he'd read the bill, Republican AHCA supporter Tom Garrett of Virginia responded, “Oh, gosh,” as if he'd been asked if he'd read the entire iTunes terms of service agreement. “Let’s put it this way: People in my office have read all the parts of the bill. I don’t think any individual has read the whole bill. That’s why we have staff.”

Evolve

Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, told Wolf Blitzer: “I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not. But I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff.” Collins also admitted to a Buffalo News reporter that he was unaware of a $3 billion program in New York that would be eliminated under the new bill.

An MSNBC reporter asked members of Congress if they had read the bill less than an hour before the vote. Some said yes; most ignored him; one said “We're still working on it,” and Rep. Shimkus said “I just got back from baseball practice.”

Republicans closed ranks yesterday to pass the ACHA, which will benefit insurance companies, the rich, and the young and healthy at the cost of the sick, the elderly, and anyone who appreciates the services of Planned Parenthood. The bill hasn't been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, but the CBO review of the bill's previous incarnation projected that it would cause 24 million people to lose health insurance.

Reading the bill they just passed would have taken a mere 76 minutes, according to the reading time approximation tool on Medium, which is as much time as it takes to watch the Tim Burton film Nightmare Before Christmas, three-and-a-half episodes of Seinfeld, or less than half the average baseball game.

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