WASHINGTON — The heated summer of hostile town hall events and death-panel scare tactics was bleeding into the fall of 2009, and still, bipartisan negotiations over what would become the Affordable Care Act dragged on.
In the end, only one Republican, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, supported a version of the health bill in a crucial committee vote — and then even she opposed final passage once it reached the floor.
As President Biden pushes for an elusive bipartisan compromise this summer on a major infrastructure bill, those extended and fruitless talks on a health care deal loom as a cautionary tale.
“There was some sliver of hope that it would be bipartisan,” Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director during health care negotiations, recalled in 2014.
“But as time evolved from the transition during late 2008 to the summer of 2009, it became increasingly obvious that any such hopes were only hopes and not going to be reality.”
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