FILE – In this May 23, 2017, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is striking, and it’s drawing fire from members of both parties. But it’s not uncommon for either party to draft bills or resolve stubborn final hurdles behind closed doors, foregoing the step-by-step, civics-book version of how Congress works. Lacking the votes to block this year’s GOP effort, Democrats are looking to score political points by targeting the closely-held process McConnell is using to write legislation replacing much of Obama’s statute. (Jacquelyn Martin, File/Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is drawing fire from members of both parties. But it’s not uncommon for either party to draft bills or resolve stubborn final hurdles behind closed doors, foregoing the step-by-step, civics-book version of how Congress works.

That’s even true for the process that produced President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which the GOP is now trying to dismantle. While Democrats reached out to Republicans, held scores of committee hearings and staged many days of debate on that legislation in 2009 and 2010, they also resorted to private meetings to reach agreements that clinched its approval.

Lacking the votes to block this year’s GOP effort, Democrats are looking to score political points by targeting the closely held process Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is using to write legislation replacing much of Obama’s statute.

GOP senators have been meeting privately to address disputes over cutting Medicaid, limiting insurance requirements and revamping tax credits. McConnell wants a Senate vote before the chamber leaves town for a July 4 recess, giving Democrats scant opportunity to rally resistance against a major bill whose contents are unknown.

“Some version of secrecy has to happen. You’re not going to get anywhere if that’s not the case,” said C.R. Wooters, a top House Democratic aide when Obama’s law was being passed. But he added: “Most of our real private meetings were the final tweaks, not the original bill. I think that’s the difference. The general parameters of the bill were widely known.”

Democrats said they were planning to start forcing…