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Now you see it. Now you don’t. Actually, you just don’t. Even if you’re a member of Congress, a Republican member, you can’t see whatever passes for Obamacare reform.

This is getting ridiculous. Well, it’s been ridiculous for years – now they’re just adding to the spectacle.

House Republicans thought they were writing a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Instead, on Thursday, they found themselves running a traveling circus.

Following reports that a major chunk of their health-care legislation was being held for House GOP review in a secret room somewhere in the Capitol complex, Democrats and Republicans who hadn’t been invited started the hunt. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, was first on the scene of the supposed secret location.

“It’s the secret office of the secret bill,” Paul told a gaggle of reporters. After being denied entry by a security guard and staff aide, he quickly turned the moment into an impromptu press conference about legislation transparency.

“I suspect public pressure will make them release it,” he said.

Except, as it turned out, the bill wasn’t there. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady was in the room, but the Texas Republican said the bill wasn’t.

Where’s the Bill? Who’s got the Bill? Anybody seen a Bill?


Sen. Rand Paul on the hunt (with portable copier). Steve Kopack / Twitter.

Why the secrecy? The Draft circulated a week ago was obviously that – a draft – or a ruse. Allegedly the authors were not happy it got out. An, now, they’re making it impossible for anyone to see what they’re doing. Why? Do we have secrecy in our government? The answer is, “yes, of course”. But that doesn’t feel right, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

The original legislation, which gave us the doomed ACA, was shrouded in secrecy. It was rushed through the process. No one bothered to read it (or had time). That didn’t work out so well. Had they read it, they might have concluded it was a giant, stinking boondoggle, voted it down, and spared us (and themselves) the present worry.

After what … 100 years? … of promising to fix or get rid of the mess, one would think Republicans would be proud if their efforts. Why hide them? Do really have anything this time? Someone pointed out that they did pass a repeal Bill through previously. It met an Obama veto. Why not redo the exact same Bill? Trump would sign it. Stupidity on top or secrecy on top of incompetence.

Similarly, the TPP legislation was kept “locked up and under armed guard in the Capital basement vault”. That, also, was a complete disaster waiting to happen. The Bill stalled in the Senate (maybe someone read it), only to have Obama okay it anyway. Trump killed it earlier this year with great ceremony – one of the few laws undone, ever. A win for the people.

The people need another win with Obamacare. At the least, they deserve a little trust from their employees in Congress. Let’s see what is in the damned repeal, repeal and replace, prop-up, or whatever it is.

It’s really a shame we don’t have a “no confidence” voting measure for our government. That’s no secret.