Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010


Number of programs related to health care televised by C-SPAN

The debate over health care reform dominated Washington for much of 2009 and continued into 2010. President Obama endlessly pushed for reform on the stump, on the Hill, in press briefings and even in a bipartisan health care summit. Likewise, the House and Senate debated the bill incessantly. And C-SPAN, the congressional TV station of record, was there to cover it all. Over the course of the debate, the network televised 266 hours of House proceedings (committee and floor hearings) and 475 hours of debate in the Senate. Although reform had looked dead at the beginning of the year, the Democratic leadership in both houses cobbled together enough votes for passage. In the end, President Obama more or less got what he wanted — an overhaul of the nation's health care system. But the victory cost the President and the Democratic Party politically in the 2010 midterms, as criticism of the bill helped put Republicans back in power in the House. The reform bill is now being challenged at almost every level of government, from governor's mansions to state houses to federal courts. Whether we'll see the same amount of C-SPAN programming next year regarding the repeal of health care reform has yet to be determined.