New Report Sheds Light on Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Negotiations

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A-Mark Foundation has just published a report titled "Was the ACA (Obamacare) Negotiated by the Democrats in Secret, and Did They Keep Republicans Out of the Negotiations Process on Purpose?" discussing some of the events of the 427-day process of turning the ACA (Obamacare) into law, including final vote tallies, the “if you like your doctor” statements, the compromises, and the 19 taxes, penalties, fees, revenue enhancements, and deduction eliminations.

It's simply wrong for legislation that'll affect 100% of the American people to be negotiated behind closed doors.

Given the importance of the Affordable Care Act (aka the "ACA" and “Obamacare”) to so many Americans and the current controversy over negotiations on health care reform, a new A-Mark Foundation report (available at http://amarkfoundation.org) looks back on the ACA’s passage to see if the process that led to Obamacare becoming law sheds any useful light on the current health care reform efforts in Congress.

On Jan. 13, 2010, then Representative, and now Vice President, Mike Pence (R-IN) tweeted:
“It's simply wrong for legislation that'll affect 100% of the American people to be negotiated behind closed doors…”

In today’s health care debates, Democrats have accused Republicans of negotiating behind closed doors. Are they right? And did the Democrats negotiate in secret to pass Obamacare?

To answer these questions and others, the A-Mark Foundation has just published a report titled “Was the ACA (Obamacare) Negotiated by the Democrats in Secret, and Did They Keep Republicans Out of That Negotiations Process on Purpose?” The report is available at no charge at http://amarkfoundation.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ACA-White-Paper-7-30-2017.pdf

It took President Obama 427 days to get the ACA passed. Between the Senate passing H.R. 3590, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” 60 to 39, and the House voting 219 to 212 to approve the bill, the final vote of the 435 representatives was 219 Democrats voting for the bill, and 34 Democrats and 178 Republicans voting against the bill (there were four vacancies at the time). On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the 906-page ACA into law.

During those 427 days, the report notes that there were:

  • 31 “Gang of Six” Senate Committee on Finance bipartisan discussions (three Republicans & three Democrats) from June 17, 2009, to Sept. 14, 2009
  • 14 regular Senate Committee on Finance bipartisan meetings from Feb. 25, 2009, to Oct. 13, 2009
  • 7 Town Halls from June 11, 2009, to Aug. 24, 2009
  • 5 Health care reform votes on bills and measures from Sept. 23, 2009, to March 21, 2010
  • 2 White House heath care summits on March 5, 2009, and Feb. 25, 2010
  • 1 Health care reform meeting between President Obama and Republicans on Feb. 10, 2010

In addition to reviewing the ACA’s negotiation process and timeline, the report also includes:

  • an overview of health care reform initiatives prior to the Obama years, health care reform bills that evolved into the final ACA,
  • the final version of the ACA, a list of the 21 times that President Obama said some variation of “if you like your doctor” you can keep him/her, and
  • the 19 taxes, penalties, fees, revenue enhancements, and deduction eliminations in Obamacare.

The report was initiated by Steven C. Markoff, a prominent Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist, who commented:

“Facts and data are important when developing opinions and public policy. Regarding the possible repeal and replacement of Obamacare, I wanted to know whether Republicans today were using a different process than the Democrats did years ago. Were they being more inclusive or exclusive? More secretive or more transparent? It seemed so hard to get unbiased information on these basic questions, so we tasked A-Mark Foundation staff to do the research so everyone could have solid and sourced information from which to draw their own conclusions.”

The research was funded by the A-Mark Foundation, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization founded by Steven and Jadwiga Markoff in 1997. Other A-Mark Foundation projects can be explored at http://www.amarkfoundation.org. Mr. and Mrs. Markoff founded the popular educational resource ProCon.org (online at http://www.procon.org) in 2004.

For interviews or more information, please contact Mr. Markoff at scmarkoff(at)aol(dot)com.

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