After decades of debate we are now closer than ever to achieving meaningful health reform that will provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans. Since 2007, House Democrats have held 100 health reform-related hearings and kept their promise to provide an unprecedented amount of transparency and respect for the legislative process, providing Members and stakeholders the ability to weigh in, ask questions and offer constructive ideas. Here is a snapshot of the debate surrounding the Affordable Health Care for America Act, by the numbers.
PUBLIC DISCUSSION AND DEBATE ON HEALTH REFORM
In the 111th Congress, the Committees responsible for drafting legislation, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor have:
Spent nearly 100 hours in hearings on health reform.
Heard from 181 witnesses (both Democratic and Republican).
Spent 83 hours in Committee markups.
Considered a total of 239 amendments; approved 121.
PUBLICLY AVAILABLE MATERIALS
HEARING FROM CONSTITUENTS
Since the spring of this year, House Democrats have held 3,000 health care town halls and public events in their districts, giving Members the opportunity to hear directly from their constituents and discuss the impact that health reform will have on their communities. Tens of thousands of e-mails, calls, and letters have been logged in Congressional offices to also register public comment.
COMPARED TO MEDICARE MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2003
From draft bill release to House Floor vote, the House will have spent over four months working on health reform legislation this year. For comparison, consider Republican actions for the House Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, in which the entire process from introduction to passage on the House Floor spanned eleven days, leading up to an unprecedented three hour vote on the conference report:
June 16, 2003 — HR 2473 Introduced and referred to committees
June 17, 2003 — W&M Mark-up
June 19, 2003 — E&C Mark-up
June 25, 2003 — HR 1 Introduced
June 26, 2003 — Brought to House Floor
June 27, 2003 — 2:32 AM, passed 216-215