WATCH: Republicans prepare to vote for a health care bill they haven’t read

It wasn’t long ago that House Republicans touted a “Read the Bill” promise.

CREDIT: MSNBC screengrab
CREDIT: MSNBC screengrab

As House Republicans prepare to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Wednesday, it appears that some of them have yet to read the bill, which will result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.

An NBC reporter asked a number of House Republicans whether they have read the bill as they walked through the Capitol. They pointedly declined to answer.

It wasn’t so long ago that House Republicans were singing a very different tune. In September 2010, then-Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) unveiled their “Pledge to America,” which contained a “Read the Bill” promise.


“We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives,” it said.

Seven years later, Chaffetz was racing back to the Capitol — following surgery for a pre-existing foot condition — so he can cast his vote in favor of a bill that his colleagues haven’t read and that hasn’t yet received a score from the Congressional Budget Office.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who has resorted to resorted to deception in recent days in an effort to sell the AHCA, was also striking a very different tone about the importance of reading bills during the Obama era.

Other House Republicans seem confused about what the AHCA will do. During a Thursday morning appearance on CNN, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) expressed support for replacing the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions with the underfunded “high-risk pools” that are part of the AHCA. But Barton promptly demonstrated he doesn’t understand how such pools actually work.

Other Republicans seem downright giddy about a bill that will result in higher costs for people who need care the most.

The Hill reports that on Thursday morning, Ryan and House Republican leaders “held what amounted to a pep rally for rank-and-file members in the Capitol basement Thursday morning as they predicted victory in their push to repeal and replace ObamaCare.”


“Leaders played the ‘Rocky’ theme song as lawmakers walked into the meeting. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put an image of George S. Patton on the screen and read inspirational quotes from the general,” The Hill reported.