Monday, March 1, 2010

Health Care Bill and Reconciliation

Spending so much time parsing one word, reconciliation,  is ridiculous in the face of the real problems here.  However, knowing that reconciliation is now a powerfully negative word, the Democrats are now calling it a "simple majority".   Following is a little history on reconciliation from Wikipedia:
"Reconciliation is a legislative process in the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.
The Byrd Rule (described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure. [Thus, President Bush's tax cuts are due to expire, for they were passed by reconciliation.]

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton's 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.  [Well, that is, until that is the only way they can pass this bill which Americans don't want....]

Let’s set the record straight. 

  The intent of reconciliation was to allow a simple majority of 51 Senators to pass a small part of a large bill, or to appoint a new judge. With apparent lack of understanding (or perhaps with clear intent to confuse and deceive), President Obama in 2005 described reconciliation as being a "Majoritarian absolute power, and not what the Founders intended".  And yet now the Congress, with the approval of our President, intends to employ reconciliation to pass a sweeping reform affecting 16% of our economy, and against the wishes of over 60% of Americans.  Let me now ask the obvious question…  Just WHO is assuming Majoritarian absolute power?
    And to those who distrust Republicans and denigrate them for standing in the way of health care reform, consider that it was President Obama who promised that we would be able to keep our current health insurance under his brand of health care reform:  "We said from the want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it.”  That was until he had to say: "And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."  The truth is that when one loses his job or quits his job, he MUST go on government health care.  The truth – as those who actually read the bill know – is that provisions that violated that pledge were in there the entire time.

Our President says we the people don't know enough.  I say we know more than he thinks, and we are smart enough to know that our national debt cannot be lowered by insuring  37 million more Americans. 
The pure arrogance of our President was once again on display during the "summit" when he agreed that, "there wasn't a balance on time on the opening statements because ------------------------------------I'm the President."  OH, that's right, as he is wont to say:  "I won....." - as in bow down, give in, and don't argue.  As a moderator of this health care summit, Barack Obama was totally inappropriate, as he is NOT uncommitted to its outcome.  His behavior proved the case, challenging and chastising instead of leading, and failing to give equal time to both sides.  He is in over his head.

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