On Fox News' Happening Now, contributor Monica Crowley falsely claimed that “Republicans have been locked out” of the health care debate in the House and Senate “from the very beginning.” In fact, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senate Finance Committee bills contained nearly 200 Republican amendments.
From the January 5 edition of Happening Now:
CROWLEY: The Republican Party put forward a long slate of [health care] reform initiatives from creating real competition by lowering the state-by-state barriers allowing these insurance companies to really compete in all 50 states, tort reform, there were a number of very significant reforms that the Republicans put forward that the Democrats just did not want to hear about. That's number 1. Number 2, the Republicans have been locked out of this process, the White House and on Capitol Hill from the very beginning.
FACT: Senate bills included numerous GOP amendments, reflected bipartisan meetings
Senate bills had numerous GOP amendments and reflected bipartisan meetings. According to a HELP Committee document about bipartisan aspects of the health reform bill the committee passed July 15, the final bill included “161 Republican amendments,” including “several amendments from Senators [Mike] Enzi [R-WY], [Tom] Coburn [R-OK], [Pat] Roberts [R-KS] and others [that] make certain that nothing in the legislation will allow for rationing of care,” and reflected the efforts of “six bipartisan working groups” that “met a combined 72 times” in 2009 as well as “30 bipartisan hearings on health care reform” since 2007, half of which were held in 2009. [HELP Committee document, 7/09] And according to the Senate Finance Committee's document detailing the amendments to the Chairman's Mark considered, at least 13 amendments sponsored by one or more Republican senators were included in the bill.