Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) told MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski on Wednesday that he will not vote for the GOP-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare unless he can read and study it first.
Senate Republican leaders have so far refused to publicly release the bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare — even to many of its own members, including Cassidy. Two conservative stalwarts — Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) — also said that they have not read the bill they're being asked to vote on later this month, according to Hot Air.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he will release a "discussion draft" Thursday, one week before the full Senate is scheduled to vote on the legislation, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed a health care reform bill in May by a vote of 217-213. Now, the first major legislative effort of President Donald Trump's administration sits in the Senate.
Asked Wednesday about what the Senate health care bill could address, Cassidy pointed to Republicans' efforts to improve the individual market.
"There's a lot of effort to stabilize the individual market. Obviously, when Trump took office, about 11 states were in so-called death spiral in the individual market. Since, others have joined. You can argue why — and at this point a person paying $40,000 for insurance doesn't care. They just want it fixed," Cassidy said, adding that "there's a lot of consideration as to what we do with Medicaid as well."
However, Cassidy made clear that he simply won't vote for the legislation if he doesn't first have time to read and study it.
"Do you think you'll get the chance to see it and really read the whole thing to really say whether or not this is satisfactory?" Brzezinski asked Cassidy.
"If I don't get to read it, I don't vote for it. If I don't get to study it, I don't vote for it," Cassidy said. "And so it's just a question — you know, we got pretty detailed discussion, though, as to what we wish to do. I'm not defending the process. I don't like the process."
"With that said, I can either sit around and complain about the process or I can dig in and try to make it better," Cassidy concluded.
GOP Senator Bill Cassidy on Trumpcare: “If I don’t get to read it, I don’t vote for it.” pic.twitter.com/d9y6t4vjfY
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 21, 2017
Cassidy's approach to reforming health care in the U.S. lies in stark contrast to that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who in 2010 said the Democrat-controlled Congress just needed to pass Obamacare so that they could "find out what's in it."
This week, however, Pelosi sang a much different tune regarding allowing members to read the legislation they are voting on. Pelosi's tweet came in response to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasting his fellow Republicans for "doing the same thing" as Democrats did.
".@SenJohnMcCain calling out Republican hypocrisy is music to my ears. Americans deserve to know what’s in the bill. #Trumpcare," Pelosi tweeted Tuesday.
(H/T: The Hill)