WASHINGTON ― Ever since President Donald Trump and Republicans failed spectacularly on Friday in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have been busy finding people to blame.
Republicans who opposed the bill have argued that the process was rushed, laying the blame on House GOP leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for cobbling together the bill behind closed doors.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has repeatedly argued that the House should have spent more time on the bill, credited Democrats on Sunday for a “careful and deliberate approach” when they drafted the Affordable Care Act back in 2009.
”I think you can’t expect to try to solve a problem that addresses one-sixth of the country’s economy and touches every American in a very personal and intimate way in 18 days,” Cotton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“When the Democrats came to power in 2009, for 60 years at least, they had been pursuing a national healthcare system, yet they didn’t introduce legislation for eight months, and they didn’t pass it for over a year of Barack Obama’s first term,” he said.
“So it went through very public hearings and took testimony, developed fact based foundation of knowledge, President Obama traveled around the country, held town halls and spoke to a joint session of Congress,” the senator added. “I am not saying we needed 14 months to do this, but I think a more careful and deliberate approach, which we now have time to do because we are going to have to revisit healthcare anyway, would have gotten us further down the path to a solution.”
It was a stark contrast from what Republicans have previously said about the process of passing the law. In their seven-year effort to repeal the ACA, the GOP frequently claimed former President Barack Obama and Democrats rushed through their bill.
In reality, Obama and his aides spent more than a year working on specific proposals, meeting with various experts and stakeholders and convening a bipartisan group of lawmakers to gather ideas and feedback.
By contrast, Trump spent only a few weeks on the GOP bill, even though Republicans have promised for seven years to repeal Obamacare.
Trump and top Republicans have even blamed Democrats for the bill’s failure, even though Democrats say they were never even consulted.