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The ACA is a bipartisan solution to healthcare

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Arizona Senator John McCain has publicly come out against the latest Republican attempt to repeal the ACA. His statement begins:

As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform legislation ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate. Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.

I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case. Instead, the specter of September 30th budget reconciliation deadline has hung over this entire process.

Many opponents of the ACA repeal are hailing McCain as a hero for going against his party leadership on this issue. I don’t see it — he’d still support a bill like Graham-Cassidy that would take away healthcare coverage from millions of Americans if only it were the result of proper procedure — particularly because of what he says next (italics mine):

We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009.

This is false. The NY Times’ David Leonhardt explained back in March during another Republican repeal effort:

When Barack Obama ran for president, he faced a choice. He could continue moving the party to the center or tack back to the left. The second option would have focused on government programs, like expanding Medicare to start at age 55. But Obama and his team thought a plan that mixed government and markets — farther to the right of Clinton’s — could cover millions of people and had a realistic chance of passing.

They embarked on a bipartisan approach. They borrowed from Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts, gave a big role to a bipartisan Senate working group, incorporated conservative ideas and won initial support from some Republicans. The bill also won over groups that had long blocked reform, like the American Medical Association.

But congressional Republicans ultimately decided that opposing any bill, regardless of its substance, was in their political interest. The consultant Frank Luntz wrote an influential memo in 2009 advising Republicans to talk positively about “reform” while also opposing actual solutions. McConnell, the Senate leader, persuaded his colleagues that they could make Obama look bad by denying him bipartisan cover.

Adam Jentleson, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Harry Reid, said basically the same thing on Twitter:

The votes were party-line, but that was a front manufactured by McConnell. He bragged about it at the time. McConnell rarely gives much away but he let the mask slip here, saying he planned to oppose Obamacare regardless of what was in the bill. Those who worked on and covered the bill know there were GOP senators who wanted to support ACA — but McConnell twisted their arms. On Obamacare, Democrats spent months holding hearings and seeking GOP input — we accepted 200+ GOP amendments!

For reference, here was the Senate vote, straight down party lines. Hence the “ramming” charge…if you didn’t know any better. Luckily, Snopes does know better.

According to Mark Peterson, chair of the UCLA Department of Public Policy, one easy metric by which to judge transparency is the number of hearings held during the development of a bill, as well as the different voices heard during those hearings. So far, the GOP repeal efforts have been subject to zero public hearings.

In contrast, the ACA was debated in three House committees and two Senate committees, and subject to hours of bipartisan debate that allowed for the introduction of amendments. Peterson told us in an e-mail that he “can’t recall any major piece of legislation that was completely devoid of public forums of any kind, and that were crafted outside of the normal committee and subcommittee structure to this extent”.

The Wikipedia page about the ACA tells much the same story.

Tags: Adam Jentleson   David Leonhardt   healthcare   John McCain   politics
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wreichard
3 days ago
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This is really the ultimate insult of repeal and replace...that it was already for all intents and purposes an extreme compromise for anything remotely "liberal."
Earth
jhamill
3 days ago
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In a 24 hour news cycle, memories are short, which is less than ideal.
California
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16 hours ago
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satadru
2 days ago
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New York, NY
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Lemonade

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
It's so easy to get adults to give in to peer pressure.

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3 days ago
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rtreborb
2 days ago
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Lil' entrepreneur
cloudtamer
3 days ago
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Lol
Troy, MO

USB Cables

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Tag yourself, I'm "frayed."
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wreichard
5 days ago
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This is a "universal" joke.
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hannahdraper
5 days ago
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Washington, DC
skittone
5 days ago
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5 days ago
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5 public comments
expatpaul
5 days ago
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Painfully true
Belgium
mooglemoogle
6 days ago
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I’m “Carries data but not power”
Virginia
CaffieneKitty
4 days ago
I'm "Heavy and not very flexible" :-P
deezil
6 days ago
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I need USB-C cables to become cheaper, but basically, if it's not "the good one", it gets thrown in the garbage. Monoprice has them for too cheap to worry about them.
Louisville, Kentucky
alt_text_bot
6 days ago
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Tag yourself, I'm "frayed."
endlessmike
1 day ago
Heavy and not very flexible
Covarr
6 days ago
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And then there's that weird proprietary cable I've had since like 2004 that looks at a glance like micro USB but isn't, so I get halfway across the country for my vacation with no way to charge anything at all and have to buy spares at the airport for exorbitant prices.
Moses Lake, WA
skittone
5 days ago
Throw it away.
bodly
5 days ago
Or label it.
JimB
2 days ago
My mate threw his away, then wondered why he could no longer connect his Panasonic camera to the computer...

Press de hombros Con Mancuernas Part 2

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Press de hombros Con Mancuernas Part 2

Este Metodo Se hace el press de hombros con mancuernas.
Repeticiones de 10-20 hasta llegar a 100.

la intensidad sube cada instante. Con un movimiento semi explosivo.

La intensidad generera un movimiento anaerbico.

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10 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Beyond the Grave

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
In retrospect, we probably should've mentioned this when your policy began, 40 years ago.

New comic!
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Hey geeks! We've opened up submissions for another week for BAHFest San Francisco. I'm just saying, if you've ever wanted a chance to share the stage with freakin' Adam Savage, this is it.

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12 days ago
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Still in Use

3 Comments and 15 Shares
'Which one?' 'I dunno, it's your house. Just check each object.' 'Check it for *what*?' 'Whether it looks like it might have touched a paper towel at some point and then forgotten to let go.' '...' 'You can also Google to learn how to check which things are using which resources.' 'You know, I'll just leave the towel there and try again tomorrow.'
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JayM
15 days ago
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ROFL!
Atlanta, GA
0utis
15 days ago
Worst case, reboot the house.
popular
12 days ago
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toddgrotenhuis
15 days ago
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Indianapolis
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Covarr
15 days ago
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Just the other day I was doing some painting. Forgot to save when I was done, woke up the next morning, and the living room was back to its boring eggshell again :(
Moses Lake, WA
alt_text_bot
15 days ago
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'Which one?' 'I dunno, it's your house. Just check each object.' 'Check it for *what*?' 'Whether it looks like it might have touched a paper towel at some point and then forgotten to let go.' '...' 'You can also Google to learn how to check which things are using which resources.' 'You know, I'll just leave the towel there and try again tomorrow.'
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