Reid On Reconciliation: Game On

Harry Reid has written Mitch McConnell to say that he'll use budget reconciliation to pass health care reform.

60 Senators voted to pass historic reform that will make health insurance more affordable, make health insurance companies more accountable and reduce our deficit by roughly a trillion dollars. The House passed a similar bill. However, many Republicans now are demanding that we simply ignore the progress we've made, the extensive debate and negotiations we've held, the amendments we've added (including more than 100 from Republicans) and the votes of a supermajority in favor of a bill whose contents the American people unambiguously support. We will not. We will finish the job. We will do so by revising individual elements of the bills both Houses of Congress passed last year, and we plan to use the regular budget reconciliation process that the Republican caucus has used many times.

I know that many Republicans have expressed concerns with our use of the existing Senate rules, but their argument is unjustified. There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about the use of reconciliation. As one of the most senior Senators in your caucus, Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, said in explaining the use of this very same option, "Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don't think so." Similarly, as non-partisan congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein said in this Sunday's New York Times, our proposal is "compatible with the law, Senate rules and the framers' intent."

Reconciliation is designed to deal with budget-related matters, and some have expressed doubt that it could be used for comprehensive health care reform that includes many policies with no budget implications. But the reconciliation bill now under consideration would not be the vehicle for comprehensive reform – that bill already passed outside of reconciliation with 60 votes. Instead, reconciliation would be used to make a modest number of changes to the original legislation, all of which would be budget-related. There is nothing inappropriate about this. Reconciliation has been used many times for a variety of health-related matters, including the establishment of the Children's Health Insurance Program and COBRA benefits, and many changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

It's official. Game on.

Tags: health care reform, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Reconciliation, Reconciliation (all tags)



The final signal to congress?

Let's get this bill passed!

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-11 03:33PM | 0 recs
Starts Monday

House Budget committee takes up reconciliation on Monday!

Previous statements say mark-up will last 4 days. So we could have a bill and vote by next weekend!

by vecky 2010-03-11 05:20PM | 0 recs

So we get a deeply flawed bill shoved down our throats and use reconciliation. Mark my words....democrats are going to get slaughtered at the polls come November if this occurs and Obama will destroy his popularity and lose in 2012.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-03-11 06:49PM | 1 recs

that's called a win-win.

by QTG 2010-03-11 07:00PM | 0 recs
In a world

where spending eight months debating and deliberating and passing with 220 House votes and 60 Senate votes and at least 216 votes in the House again and being fixed with 50 votes is "shoved down our throats"

But you keep going ahead and sprouting your right wing crap, we will prefer to believe Americans are actually smart enough to see what good the bill will do and reward the Democrats with a continuing majority...and THAT I will enjoy shoving down your throat.

by ND22 2010-03-11 08:08PM | 1 recs
RE: In a world

Dream can put lipstick on a pig as the saying goes.....this bill is crap. if it were so good, than it woudl easily pass through the house. Keep living in your world....when they shvoe this down the throats of the majority of Americans who dont want it the repercussion will be the loss of a dem majority in November and the mainstream of america turning against Obama.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-03-11 08:55PM | 1 recs
RE: In a world

Well, keep ranting and raving - having run out of facts to argue against the bill against you have no real option left I guess.

Face it the current system is crap - that's why we have millions without insurance, millions forced into bankruptcy, escalating costs and no improvement in sight. In opposing the reforms your just in favor of the status quo.

by vecky 2010-03-11 09:17PM | 2 recs
RE: In a world

"if it were so good, than it woudl easily pass"

Civil rights legislation had a very tough time passing. Took decades, in fact. Does that mean it was also "crap"? It also took decades before Congress was willing to ban slavery. Were those Constitutional amendments "crap"? Your specious logic is bordering on Beckian...

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-11 10:12PM | 0 recs
RE: In a world

Your talking to a conservative... they would say that Civil Rights legislation was "crap" (not that they'll have the guts to say that publicly now ofcourse).

by vecky 2010-03-11 10:29PM | 0 recs
Good Goals, Bad Policy

While the goal of providing health insurance for all is laudable, that doesn't mean that the proposed "health care reform" is good policy. Centrists and conservatives alike have pointed out that it basically relies on trickery and gimmicks in an effort to let Obama claim that it is "deficit neutral". In so doing, he's engaged in a number of lies:

Obama lie #1: the plan reduces the deficit. NO, IT DOESN'T.

When you strip out the double-counting of Social Security revenues and other gimmicks, the full 10-yr. cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-yr. cost has a $1.4 trillion deficit.

Obama lie #2: it's a plan which is paid for. NO,IT ISN'T.

The bill has 10 years of various tax increases and  Medicare cuts (amounting to half a trillion dollars), i.e., revenues, to pay for six years of spending and benefits. That right, folks....the taxes would start next year, with any so-called benefits not starting for another four years. When you compare 10 years of revenues with 6 years of expenses, the results will look good on paper, trust me.

In the private sector, that's called "Enron Accounting", and people went to jail for it. 

Obama Lie #3: "It will bring down the cost of health care for millions of Americans" NO, IT WON'T.

This one is my favorite, folks. The "doc fix"---restoring cuts in Medicare reimbursements for doctors---cost $371 billion. And this made the CBO score for Obamacare look bad. SO, Obama and his clown show took it out and put it in separate, stand-alone legislation. Ignoring costs like this doesn't remove them from the backs of taxpayers.

See folks, HIDING costs doesn't REDUCE costs. And that's the fundamental dishonesty that makes Obamacare stink to the high heavens.

Maybe the most dishonest element in this entire calamity is the way Obama treats the new 40% tax on "Cadillac" insurance plans. See, it won't kick in until 2018, six years after Obama has been thrown out. But that's OK, Barack, just kick the can down the road and let the next President deal with it. Nothing like "hope and change", and a new style of politics.

Obama is a liar and the biggest crook to inhabit the White House since Nixon. Fortunately, the voters are now on to him and his clown show.

Hiding costs doesn't reduce costs. Period.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-03-12 12:19AM | 0 recs
RE: Good Goals, Bad Policy

Have you even read the CBO score?

Here is one from today:

CBO and JCT now estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of
enacting H.R. 3590 as passed by the Senate would yield a net reduction in federal deficits
of $118 billion over the 2010–2019

Savings for the period beyond 2019 are even greater. A CBO score of the revised reconciliation bill should be available in the next couple of days. But it's savings will be even higher, because guess what, deficit reduction is a requirement of reconciliation.

I know facts ain't your strong point, but please do try to provide some. I like to think the standard of conservative opinion here on MyDD is not as low as you represent.


by vecky 2010-03-12 01:59AM | 1 recs
You don't understand how the CBO works

They score the bill that's put in front of them. If they get a bill that contains 10 years of tax revenues/Medicare cuts and only 6 years of benefits, that's what their estimate will score. But that doesn't make the bill fiscally sound.

You also don't understand GAAP, so you shouldn't be trying to discuss fiscal or budgetary issues. Your grasp of basic accounting principles is apparently as feeble as your understanding of poll numbers.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-03-12 10:06AM | 0 recs
RE: You don't understand how the CBO works

All I ask is that you try to not come off as a complete know-nothing. The CBO score I linked too provided the specific breakup of income/revenues/expenditures for each year in the 2010-2019 period (page 3 and then Table 2). If you bothered to actually read it rather than simply spouting debunked talking points you would know what you are saying is a lie.

3 benefits start immediately - the small business tax credit, the Medicare part D donut hole, and a Reinsurance program for elderly employees.  The only tax that start immediately is a 10% tax on indoor tanning salons. Followed in 2011 by an small equipment fee on the pharmaceutical industry. You would know these facts if you bothered to try.

There. Have you been humiliated enough?

by vecky 2010-03-12 03:37PM | 0 recs
There you go again

trying to change the subject. And in the process, you still haven't addressed any of the three points I outlined. The Medicare "doc fix" is a $370 billion sham, and you're babbling about tanning salons. You're in the weeds, "Vecky".

Talk about complete know-nothing, you got slammed yesterday by the founder of MyDD for your ignorance. To paraphrase him, I'm done with this. Your inability to reason and debate is getting famous around here.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-03-12 04:33PM | 0 recs
RE: There you go again

I'm not sure how calling out your ignorance on facts and correcting your blatant lies is changing the subject, I'll just chalk that up to you loosing another argument and having no other response.

As for the Medicare payment "fix" - it's not a part of HCR and never has been - it's a left over dredge from the Bush administration and GOP controlled Congress which kept delaying it. Once the Democrats have fixed the majority of the mess the conservatives left behind (and there is a lot) they'll get to it. Eitherway it dosn't effect the CBO score or the HCR legislation.

by vecky 2010-03-12 06:35PM | 0 recs
RE: Good Goals, Bad Policy

You used all caps when you stated your opinion. Impressive, I'm convinced.

Oh, right, excuse me. I'M CONVINCED.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-12 03:02AM | 0 recs
Stick to substance

Instead of silly comments about punctuation, tell me why you think this bill represents sound fiscal policy. Or better yet, why you don't think it will aggravate an already dire situation caused by runaway spending on entitlement programs. You probably won't; it's generally not a discussion that liberals want to get into.

But that's OK. At the same time that team Obama is layering in their version of HCR----which is based on some very dubious accounting and gimmickry----they're creating a deficit commission to figure out how we got into such a mess with excessive entitlement spending. Only in today's Democratic Party would that scenario not be considered a little surreal. But hey, when in doubt, create a commission of "experts"......that's what I call heavy lifting.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-03-12 10:20AM | 0 recs
RE: Stick to substance

I don't think this bill will aggravate costs, but I don't think it will help them, and yes, we do agree that it's "an already dire situation." I'm in the camp that believes it's so dire that as it gets worse, even the worse partisanship won't keep us from fixing it. That's not true of coverage, which we've been trying to expand for a century. We can expand coverage now and work on lowering costs next; we can't do it the other way around.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-12 01:21PM | 0 recs
RE: Reid On Reconciliation: Game On

cai yi ixia

by 2010-03-12 12:36AM | 0 recs

Well said my friend.  Reconciliation has been used more than what has been mentioned in the mainstream media over the past few years.  In fact, if I remember correctly, the Republicans have actually used it more in recent years than Democrats.   I have no problem with the filibuster, as long as there is another method (reconciliation) to ensure that the party in opposition doesn't hold complete power.  

by Chuckie Corra 2010-03-15 03:10PM | 0 recs


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