GOP sen­a­tors shun democ­racy

Re “GOP urged to lift veil on health bill,” June 19

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

You re­port that the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion by Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee Chair­man Or­rin G. Hatch (RU­tah) for for­mu­lat­ing the GOP’s health­care leg­is­la­tion in se­cret was that hold­ing public hear­ings about it would give Democrats “a chance to get up and scream.”

Isn’t that how democ­racy is sup­posed to work? Aren’t the ar­gu­ments of­fered by the op­po­si­tion party (what Hatch calls “screams”) meant to help the Se­nate reach a bet­ter out­come?

Repub­li­can sen­a­tors know they do not rep­re­sent a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans, so why are they us­ing their slim ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate to block any in­put from the op­po­si­tion? Could it be that they fear pro­longed rea­soned de­bate would ex­pose the in­fe­ri­or­ity of their plan com­pared with the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act?

Leg­is­la­tion in a democ­racy should al­ways pro­mote what is good for all its peo­ple, not what fa­vors less than half of them.

Brian Fin­ney Venice

The Times crosses the line on jour­nal­is­tic in­tegrity by chal­leng­ing the GOP’s “closed-door ap­proach” and its “se­cre­tive process” in ad­dress­ing how to change the nu­mer­ous in­ef­fec­tive and in­ef­fi­cient pro­vi­sions of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, which was rammed down the throats of tax­pay­ing cit­i­zens who were lied to by the bill’s pro­po­nents.

How dare you talk about the Repub­li­cans’ se­cre­tive process when Oba­macare was cham­pi­oned by thenHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fran­cisco), who pub­licly pro­claimed, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

Re­port both sides of the story. The public de­mands and ex­pects more from the Fourth Es­tate.

Peter S. Grif­fith Ar­ca­dia

I’ve been shocked and deeply dis­tressed by the Repub­li­can sen­a­tors’ se­crecy in craft­ing their health­care bill, which should be at the fore­front of public de­bate given its scope.

This lat­est ef­fort by the Repub­li­can Se­nate leaves me feel­ing yet again like I no longer live in a democ­racy.

In or­der to counter this supreme lack of trans­parency and its har­row­ing im­pacts, it is the ab­so­lute duty of Cal­i­for­nia’s Demo­cratic Sens. Dianne Fe­in­stein and Ka­mala Har­ris to make every ef­fort to block this bill. Tac­tics should in­clude with­hold­ing con­sent on rou­tine mat­ters un­til Repub­li­cans agree to hold hear­ings on this bill, and of­fer­ing as many amend­ments as pos­si­ble to de­lay the process.

This is an op­por­tu­nity for lead­er­ship from the Democrats. We need to see that they’re will­ing to do ev­ery­thing in their power to fight for the wel­fare of their con­stituents.

El­iz­a­beth de Mahy Berke­ley

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