“I know you are but what am I?”
It was a pretty pathetic retort when we were kids hurling insults at each other on a playground, but it’s an even more pathetic retort from supposedly grown-up Senate Republicans, who continue to act as though their unprecedented efforts to ram through their healthcare repeal legislation is – well – precedented.
As Democrats hammer the GOP for literally hiding their legislation until the last possible moment and then severely limiting debate on the bill, Senate Republicans’ defense is simply to claim that it’s OK because Senate Democrats did the same thing between 2009 and 2010. Excuse my French, but C’est de conneries! (That’s right. I used actual French.)
Is what Senate Republicans have done anything at all like what Senate Democrats did to pass the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act? We wish.
Why? Because a quick look at what happened on the Senate side of the 2009-2010 health reform battle reveals that Senate Democrats didn’t hide their bill in the shadows – and their legislation wasn’t “jammed down people’s throat,” as claimed by Trump spokesman Sean Spicer.
Thirty-five weeks of opportunities – hearings, summits, bipartisan roundtables, negotations – allowing Republicans to thoroughly review and offer their proposals and amendments before a Senate vote on Obamacare? That’s hardly ramming.
Keeping legislation in “a bunkered-down part of Capitol Hill where even some Republicans were not able to access it” and then racing to get the bill on the Senate floor within a week and voted on with debate limited to 20 hours? That’s textbook ramming, folks.
Steve Anderson is editor and content manager for healthinsurance.org, where he’s been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2008. He’s been fortunate to have worked with a talented team of health policy writers.