Since I’m planning to talk about this during my hour tomorrow morning on The Stephanie Miller Show, I wanted to make sure people had easy access to what I’m referencing.
One anti-health care reform talking point that’s been making the rounds for a good 4 years now is some variation of the following:
Nancy Pelosi said we have to pass the bill [the Affordable Care Act] so we can see what’s in it. Nobody read the bill!
A friend and well-known conservative I follow on Twitter brought it up again this week in reaction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruling against the ACA on a wording technicality:
What I haven’t seen nearly as often (read: ever) is the truth about what the House Speaker at the time actually said. From the transcript of her remarks on March 9, 2010 at that year’s Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties:
“You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.
“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.
In context, what Pelosi says is obvious and not at all what opponents allege. She says we (the people) have heard more about conflict, contention, and politics than the policy content of the bill. But she and her colleagues (a totally different ‘we’) have to pass the bill so that we (the people) can see what the law really says away from the cloud of misinformation that’s been swirling around it.
Here’s the video from the actual event. Not an out-of-context clip. Not a sentence edited down to :10 or less. The speech in its entirety posted online by the National Association of Counties itself. The remarks in question are from 6:57 – 7:40:
It’s baffling to me why no one bothered to take this myth down right off the bat simply by going back to the original source. The official complete version of the speech has 557 views. That one sentence clipped out of context? The first 7 videos of it I found added together have more than 900,000 views. Even the official Youtube channel of outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor posted a :04 version.
Feel free to use this post as a reference next time you hear someone say Nancy Pelosi said no one in Congress read the Affordable Care Act before it passed. Because, simply put, that’s not what she said.