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UW-Madison Professor Perpetuates False Claim About Health Care Law

June 25, 2015

On WISC-TV Thursday evening UW-Madison Professor Ryan Owens provided his analysis of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. During the discussion he used the term that the law was “slammed through” congress.

I am not sure if ‘slammed through’ has taken on a different definition from what I have always thought it to be, but from my following of the process that was undertaken to pass the law it was anything but a speedy set of moves by our elected members of congress.

The bill was passed in March 2010 after literally dozens of hearings and meetings where both the house and senate weighed into every aspect of the legislation. There were attempts by Democrats to broaden the bill and bring Republicans into the process with multiple concessions to Senate Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Charles Grassley. The sad fact is that everyone speculated at the time the Iowa Republican never had any intention to vote for it.  Yet Democrats made efforts to make the bill bi-partisan.

Once it became clear Republicans had no interest in governing but only scoring partisan points Democrats passed the bill on their own. A bill, it needs to be underscored, which contained the individual mandate, and other items that the Republicans were for, before they were against them   The process took 14 months to pass and in no way can that then constitute being termed “slammed through.”

The reason this concerns me is that it is these types of falsehoods that some less than careful observers of politics latch onto as fact and use to then form opinions about policy and politicians.   Opinions that are wrong based on the ‘news’ they used to come to their conclusions.

Professor Owens made it appear from his less than honest wording that President Obama and congressional Democrats “slammed through,” the health care bill and didn’t even try to compromise. That is completely wrong.

I much respect the UW-Madison but find it impossible not to rebuke a statement that should never have been made by a professor of political science from such a prestigious place of higher learning.  Where I come from words matter.

5 Comments
  1. June 29, 2015 8:59 PM

    There is no way to say this bill was not given due process with hearings and amendments. To pretend otherwise is just deluding yourself of the facts.Furthermore the bill passed in the house on March 21, 2010.

  2. June 29, 2015 1:17 PM

    If it was given an honest assessment why this statement. “No one — not one single member of Congress — has read the bill that Democratic leadership is bringing up for a vote today,” his spokesman, Michael Steel, said in an e-mailed statement. “We expect it may take a while, but members of Congress, and — more importantly — the American people have a right to know what the House is voting on.” That was from 6/30/2009

  3. June 29, 2015 12:11 PM

    The post was not about if at the end someone voted for the bill. It was about making sure an honest assessment of how the bill navigated though congress is made known. I also might add quickly we had better all hope that words still do matter as that is how diplomacy works across the world.

  4. tom permalink
    June 29, 2015 11:29 AM

    Obama was for some things before he was against them. Most of us were, so I’m not sure how that matters. But when you look at the past two rulings of the supreme court on the affordable care act, one can see that to some, words do not matter. I’m happy you still believe words matter, but the rest of the nation seems to have moved on from that.

  5. June 29, 2015 7:38 AM

    When you have one of the leaders of the Democrat party say “But we have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what’s in it….” well I think slammed through is a very good term.

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