Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reconciliation. Will it come to this?

I've heard it said, time and again, that the parliamentary move of reconciliation can't be used to pass ObamaCare--that's the legislative power game that would allow Democrats to pass the bill with 51 votes (actually 50 votes, since the vice president acts as the tie-breaker at 51) rather than have to overcome a Republican filibuster with 60 votes. However, ever since the circus sideshow on Thursday, it seems like the lamestream media has pushed and pushed reconciliation as the inevitable next step. Well, not so fast.

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) is head of the committee that would push for reconciliation, and he says the budgetary process can't be used to pass ObamaCare.

“reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform. It won’t work. It won’t work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. . . . It will not work because of the Byrd rule which says anything that doesn’t score for budget purposes has to be eliminated. That would eliminate all the delivery system reform, all the insurance market reform, all of those things the experts tell us are really the most important parts of this bill. The only possible role that I can see for reconciliation would be make modest changes in the major package to improve affordability, to deal with what share of Medicaid expansion the federal government pays, those kinds of issues, which is the traditional role for reconciliation in health care.”

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Stay tuned for updates on ObamaCare and reconciliation.

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