The Affordable Care Act: A Missed Opportunity, a Better Way Forward

The Affordable Care Act: A Missed Opportunity, a Better Way Forward

The Affordable Care Act: A Missed Opportunity, a Better Way Forward

The Affordable Care Act: A Missed Opportunity, a Better Way Forward

Excerpt

As I began writing, President Obama had just signed into law a landmark healthcare reform bill; a feat several of his predecessors could not achieve, and he declared, “It will set into motion what a generation of Americans have fought for.”

Healthcare reform was one of President Obama’s campaign pledges and he tirelessly engaged key Republicans, reluctant Democrats, and the public at large in efforts to neutralize growing public skepticism in part fuelled by well-publicized Tea Party protestors opposed to the emerging healthcare bill. In the end, the House approved (219 yeas to 212 nays) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bill (H.R. 3590), which had passed the Senate on Christmas Eve in 2009, and the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) by 220 to 211, which had yet to be approved by the Senate. Both H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872 passed without Republican support; 34 so-called Blue Dog Democrats voted against H.R. 3590, and 33 voted against H.R. 4872. Passage especially of H.R. 3590 was credited to the stewardship of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Her political savoir-faire might “change some of the ways that we look at effective speakers… under incredibly difficult circumstances,” accord-

* Jointly referred to as Affordable Care Act (ACA).

* A group of 25 fiscally conservative House Democrats that form the Blue Dog Coalition.

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