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Democrats demand Republicans hold hearings on their health care bill

Posted July 17

Now that Republicans will delay a vote on their health care bill until Arizona Sen. John McCain is healthy enough to return to Washington, Senate Democrats are asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top committee chairmen to hold hearings on the measure.

"Given your decision to delay the vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we request that you use this additional time to hold public hearings so that senators can invite impartial experts, including patients, to testify on the policies in the bill, especially the radically conservative Cruz/Lee proposal released to the public only five days ago," Democrats wrote in their letter. "This will allow members to hear unfiltered and unbiased analysis of how the bill will affect their states and the health and financial security of the constituents they represent, including the impact of Medicaid cuts to vulnerable populations like children, people with disabilities, and people with pre-existing conditions."

RELATED: The health care vote is delayed. Does that help or hurt its chances?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and top Democrats on the Senate health and finance committees asked McConnell to use the extra time since the vote is delayed to give more information on the GOP's plan to overhaul Obamacare.

CNN has reached out to McConnell's office for response to the Democrats' request and has not yet received a response.

Democrats have been highly critical of Republicans for rushing their process and crafting their bill in leadership offices rather than in committee. While Republicans held hearings on alternatives to Obamacare in the past, the Senate Republicans have not held a single hearing on their legislation this session. Instead, the Senate GOP's health care bill is expected to go directly to the floor for a vote.

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