Earlier on Monday, Axios reported that although Senate Republicans are holding closed-door meetings to draft a healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, they won’t release it to the public. In response, Twitter users are doing what they do best – tweeting their outrage and making jokes about the so-called “secret health care bill.” Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) tweeted, “The Senate debated the Affordable Care Act for 80 days in 2009. The Republican health plan? STILL secret.” Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay wrote, “I admit being kind of stunned that the US Senate healthcare bill is a SECRET. American Constitution actually allows? Asking for a Canadian.” Others, like Google web designer Kevin Fox, struck a more humorous tone: “Maybe Russian hackers can get and release a copy of the GOP’s secret healthcare bill.”
In response to the widespread outrage, Sen. McConnell explained in an interview with portal KnowMyRepublican.com that “there is a very good reason” for keeping the process of repealing Obamacare under wraps. “First of all, let me start off by saying that understand why everybody’s so upset, and I have to say that you have every right to be,” he said. “However, I have to also ask you to trust your elected government in times like these, because we are doing a very important job and this is what we were elected to do – this is what you elected us to do. And, by God, we will do our jobs in the best possible way we can, that much I can promise you.”
“However,” he continued, “I’d like to add that, despite the prevailing opinion that this government is not acting in the best interest of the American people, we ARE doing everything in our power to solve problems in a way that makes everybody – or at the very least, the majority – happy. When it comes to the process of repealing Obamacare, there is a very good reason why it needs to be kept secret. Namely, for understandable reasons, there is a lot of social stigma surrounding health issues, be it a common cold or serious ailments like leukemia, cancer or AIDS. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, the fact to the matter is that people just don’t like it to be known that they’re suffering from a disease of any kind. I’m ashamed to admit it, but there also seems to be a lot of shame in being open about one’s health problems nowadays.”
“Why? When you hear someone telling you they have AIDS, you’ll immediately suspect they’ve had unprotected intercourse. This way of thinking extends over to countless diseases. I don’t know all the reasons, I’m not sure anyone does; but the fact to the matter is, people don’t like talking about their health issues because I believe they consider doing so an invasion of privacy, or rather, over-exposing oneself to others. Believe it or not, the government is well aware of this issue, which is why we’re doing our best to wrap this up quietly out of sympathy for those who don’t want to talk about what’s troubling them. As a matter of fact, I believe this is the first time in history – and I’ve been around for a while – that the government is actually taking the side of the general public and sympathizing with it. Don’t judge us for it like you would those who are sick. Instead, try to understand that we’re doing all of this for the sick people in America,” McConnell concluded.