Whitehouse Responds About Reading
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office has sent a response to my inquiry as to the senator’s knowledge of the complexities of the healthcare bill:
Thank you for your interest in the important work of reforming our health care
system. As a temporary member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committee over the last several months, I read the Committee’s health reform
bill closely and participated in the drafting and markup process. Indeed, the
Committee’s markup of the Affordable Health Choices Act was the longest and
most deliberative in the Committee’s history. We considered the legislation
for 56 hours and 23 separate sessions.
During the markup, Chairman Dodd led an open, bipartisan debate in which we
considered about 300 amendments. 161 amendments offered by our Republican
colleagues were accepted and incorporated into the bill.
I believe this transparent and thorough process produced excellent legislation,
and I look forward to its consideration by the full Senate.
It appears to have been rash of me to make my initial quip, although I will say that, in this particular case, ignorance of the bill’s provisions might have been the charitable assumption when it comes to the legislation’s advocates.