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Healthcare policy in the United States of America has never been satisfactory for everyone in this country. As 2016 comes to a close and a new presidential office takes power, citizens have voiced their deep-seated grievances with their insurance, ability to get reliable, affordable treatment, and condition of their health. And so, the United States Congress is faced with the imperative, urgent task of reforming, revising, and improving the healthcare system of this great country. Not only does Congress face immense pressure from constituents, the leader of our country is constantly urging for impactful legislation to be passed, often with threats following. Healthcare policy in 2017 will no doubt make a significant dent on the history of the United States, and may likely be the most demanding policy trial that legislators have faced in the entirety of their careers.
Welcome to the first session of the Senate meeting of the 115th United States Congress.
Healthcare has become even more of a partisan issue in recent years, since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially Obamacare , was passed into law on March 23rd, 2010. The Republican Party, amongst others, have been deeply unsatisfied with most, if not all, of the ACA’s provisions. The entirety of the Senate, and most of the American people, agree that the act has at least some faulty clauses. However, senators are divided as to whether to scrap the ACA entirely, or to begin with revising certain aspects. Either way, the ACA must not remain unchanged by the end of the 115th United States Congress.
The committee will attempt to follow U.S. Senate procedure to a tee. We will consider bills instead of directives, and breaking news and updates will be extracted exactly from events that occurred in 2017, from viral videos to the CBO score, and of course, words from our POTUS. That being said, the committee does not have to (and probably should not) vote and pass legislation exactly according to what happened in 2017.
Our session will convene on the third of January 2017, and end on the fifteenth of December 2017. Each hour in our committee will approximately serve as thirteen days in real Senate time. Each of you should assume the responsibility, decorum, and personality of a politician in the upper chamber of the federal legislative branch for this weekend. Though the assembly spans across the entirety of the 115th Congress, senators should only focus on healthcare policy during this time.
By the end of this committee, each bright mind in this room should have felt the pressures and realistic challenges of what it means to be a politician in America in this time of great political turmoil. We hope that what you learn over a weekend in a hotel meeting room in San Francisco will lend its way to help you shape democracy, policy, and law in the real world.