House on ACA: 116 days of consideration; AHCA: 17 days

This from Politico this morning:

116 days vs. 17 days. That’s one way to measure the difference between 2009 – when House Democrats introduced their health care bill in mid-July and passed it in early November, almost four months later – and this year, as House Republicans attempt to clear their bill in less than three weeks.

I love this.  The idea that somehow the ACA was jammed down Republican’s throat by President Obama is a long held talking point by the right.  But, it’s simply not true, as this point makes.

But it’s not the whole story of how much time went into the ACA, to attempting to get Republicans on board, and to trying to have a full and educated policy debate.

The Senate Finance Committee started even earlier than the House effort.  Digging through my old files, I found this 41-page memo from the Committee titled “Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform:  Proposed Health System Savings and Revenue Options.”  It is dated May 25th.

The final bill passed on March 21st, 2010 – making it 300 days exactly from the date of this memo.  If Sen. McConnell has his way, the bill will pass the Senate by next Friday, March 31st.  Absent any amendments to reconcile in conference committee, that will make it 25 days from introduction to final passage of the Republican’s bill.

Even earlier than that, the Senate Finance committee was holding a round table session – an effort to build bi-partisan engagement.  The meeting below was April 21st, 2009 – 334 days before final passage.


Even earlier than that, on February 25th, President Obama held a health care summit at the Blair House with all of the leaders from the Congress, including key committee leadership.  This summit was held a full year and 24 days – 389 days before the final passage.