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 - Obamacare by force? W hat will happen happen if...
Obamacare by force? W hat will happen happen if Democrats Democrats try the "go it alone" strategy to pass national health care? That's not even a question question in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cut Republicans out of the healthcare issue from the beginning. House Democrats Democrats have been going it alone all along, and if they can agree among themselves themselves on a healthcare bill, it will pass. But the Senate is another story. Republicans see the Senate as their great hope, and there's no doubt the GOP could do some serious damage to any Democratic bill. But the unpleasant fact for Republicans is, Democrats have the power, on their own, to pass a bill that could ultimately lead to the liberal dream of national health care. Both Democratic and Republican staffers are studying Senate rules governing governing the process known as "reconciliation." Those ByronYork But reconciliation is allowed only on proposals that deal directly with the budget or are primarily fiscal fiscal in nature. So Democrats Democrats could use reconciliation reconciliation to pass parts of the healthcare bill that have a direct fiscal impact, but not other measures creating things like healthcare- supervision agencies. If Democrats try to pass measures that are deemed "extraneous," Republicans could object and have the measures stripped from the bill. That is, for example, what undoubtedly would have happened to the notorious notorious end-of-life provisions that have now been removed from the Senate Finance Committee's bill. graph-by-paragraph reconciliation reconciliation fight has led to what some Republicans call the "Swiss-cheese scenario." scenario." Each time Republicans Republicans defeat a portion of the bill, they'll poke another hole in the Democrats' ambitions. Poke enough holes, and the Democrats' vaunted healthcare plan is Swiss cheese. There's no doubt that prospect scares some influential influential Democrats. Sen. Robert Byrd is opposed to using reconciliation for health care, calling it "an outrage that must be resisted." resisted." Sen. Max Baucus calls it "not a good idea," and Sen. Jay Rockefeller says it could create "a bill that goes nowhere." They're warning their colleagues not to take the go-it-alone route. But there's another way of looking at it. Sure, Democrats can't get everything everything they want if they have to go through reconciliation. reconciliation. But look at healthcare reform as an unfinished building. There they were created. Programs Programs grow over time as lawmakers add features and increase eligibility. The story could be the same for the current healthcare-reform proposals, proposals, through which Democrats, Democrats, with no Republican support, could put in place the basic structure of a national healthcare plan. It doesn't have to be gold- plated, or even finished. That could come later. "You can build a building that's missing certain features," features," says one old Senate hand. "Maybe the plumbing's plumbing's not there, or the wiring. But the bottom line is, you have laid the foundation, foundation, and built the structure, structure, and it becomes easier later on to add the plumbing, plumbing, and add the wiring. You have set up a structure so that all you have to do in the future is make incremental incremental changes." Veterans of the Senate tend to flinch from the sort of all-out warfare reconciliation reconciliation could bring. But the fact is, reconciliation might

Clipped from
  1. The Valley Independent,
  2. 04 Sep 2009, Fri,
  3. Page 6

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  • ObamaCare

    jjarvis – 24 Apr 2013

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