A former Obama Administration official and MSNBC contributor confronted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for suggesting that Democrats “jammed through” the Affordable Care Act “on a hundred percent partisan basis” during Morning Joe on Monday, and claimed that Republicans are trying to repeal reform within the context of a continuing resolution because they fear that it could actually work.
“We worked for 14 months to get bipartisan support and nine months until September 2009, where Senator Baucus was working with Senators Grassley and others to try to get bipartisan support, and we had one word from the Republicans, ‘nyet,'” Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, reminded Johnson. “And then we went it alone.”
EMANUEL: We had another election, the 2012 election on Obamacare. Obama won. The country has said over and over we are going to support this reform. The Republicans have never given a coherent alternative that controls cost, expands access to health care to everyone in the country and improves quality. We have Obamacare, we have the Affordable Care Act and it will go into law. And what you are worried about is people are going to like it. That it is going to solve the problem of access and cost. That’s why we have all the heated rhetoric.
Indeed, even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently reminded his fellow Republicans that Obamacare was debated for weeks in Senate committees and received 25 days of debate on the Senate floor. Senators from both parties filed 506 amendments and took 34 roll call votes. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee debated reform for a month and even accepted 164 Republican amendments.
“We fought as hard as we could in a fair and honest manner and we lost. And one of the reasons is because we are in the minority. And in democracies almost always the majority governs and passes legislation,” McCain said. He added that health care was also a key issue in the 2012 election. “Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they re-elected the President of the United States.”