This is in response to a letter “Let doctors design a health-care system” (Aug. 2), in which it was stated: “Our Obama health care was forced upon us without knowing what was in it.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA—informally referred to as Obamacare) was subject to detailed and daily examination in the press and by the public for a year between basic introduction and signature. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox News, Politico, and the Huffington Post all carried detailed objective analyses and opinion pieces on their websites several times per week during that period.
The general concept and rough draft text was introduced in March of 2009 and was discussed and scrutinized by both houses of Congress all spring and summer of 2009. It was formally introduced in the House Sept. 17, 2009. The committee consideration was by the Ways and Means Committee. It passed the House on Oct. 8, 2009 (416–0). It passed the Senate Dec. 24, 2009 (60–39), with amendment. The House agreed to the Senate amendment on March 21, 2010 (219–212). The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
The public and congressional discussion during the six-month period from Labor Day 2009 to March 2010 felt like an avalanche of analysis and opinion. If the bill was passed without one generally knowing what was in it, then one was not paying attention. Sorry ’bout that.