The closed-door process by which the Senate is crafting the updated TrumpCare plan has encouraged speculation and finger pointing along both sides of the aisle, not to mention the citizenry those sides represent. Majority leader Mitch McConnell and his hand-picked collection of white, male Senators delivered the new healthcare plan Thursday input from lawmakers outside of the exclusive group of 12. Some defend the unprecedented process by claiming the same tactics are how ObamaCare became law. “The Affordable Care Act was jammed through without bi-partisan input” say many congressional Republicans when asked about the fact there have been no open hearings, no consultations with healthcare experts and no meaningful public debate regarding TrumpCare. But is that really how the ACA came to be?
Secret Meetings and Public Shut Outs are Not How ObamaCare Became Law
President Barack Obama announced his commitment to healthcare reform in February of 2009. It was over a year later, in March of 2010, that Obama actually signed the Affordable Healthcare Act into law. Let’s look at a few of the many steps that were taken during that 13-month period.
- March 5, 2009 – President Obama hosts his first summit on health care
- April 21, 2009 – Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Democrat Max Baucus oversee the first of three roundtable meetings with industry experts to discuss healthcare legislation
- July 15, 2009 – After one of the longest mark-up sessions in congressional history, the bill now includes more than 160 amendments made by Republican representatives
- October 13, 2009 – The Senate Finance Committee approves the bill known as America’s Healthy Future Act
- December 24, 2009 – The bill has passed through the House of Representatives, and on this date it is officially introduced in the Senate as healthcare bill 60-39
- February 25, 2010 – Obama and leaders from both parties participate in a televised healthcare summit to explain the bill to the public
- March 21, 2010 – Democrats threaten, and eventually use, a political tactic known as “reconciliation,” allowing the Senate to pass the bill with only 51 votes instead of 60. The legislation is passed and sent to the president for a signature
- March 23, 2010 – President Barack Obama signs the ACA into law
However an individual may feel about the Affordable Healthcare Act or however flawed the bill might be, to equate the bi-partisan process by which ACA was introduced to the tactics Senator McConnell and his committee are using is absolutely unfounded. Though not all Americans agree on the best course for our healthcare system, excusing the current back-door practices of congressional Republicans by pointing to Democrats and saying “they did it first” is not only pointless, it’s simply not true. Don’t let politicians rewrite history! Facts are our friends.