Showing posts with label RECONCILIATION Method Senate Can Pass Health Care Bill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RECONCILIATION Method Senate Can Pass Health Care Bill. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2009

Should Be A Household Word

The Way Senate CAN Pass The Health Bill

By Greg Jones

For some reason the media and even our politicians keep pounding the vital importance of the Senate obtaining 60 votes in the Senate to pass the health care reform legislation. There's the non-stop 'what will (Traitor) Joe Lieberman do'...or 'will they get (R) Olympia Snowe'...or 'will Harry Reid get the 60 votes he needs...'? 60...60...60 !!! That's all we hear. I'm not sure if the media is trying to add drama to the health care issue in an attempt to stimulate audience ratings or if it's an orchestrated tactic in hopes of keeping Americans ill-informed through the direction of our great politicians, but the FACT is, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid DOES NOT need 60 votes to pass the health care bill but in fact ONLY 51- a simple majority, which makes a huge difference-through a procedure commonly used and known as RECONCILIATION.

Reconciliation is " a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow a contentious budget bill to be considered without being subject to filibuster (only needing 51 votes to pass). Because reconciliation limits debate and amendment, the process empowers the majority party ". The reconciliation procedure is limited to being used for budget related legislation that costs or raises substantial amounts of money. In the case of the Senate health care bill, that would include the expansion of Medicare or Medicaid, revenue-raising tax provisions, and even the creation of a public health insurance option, depending on how it's written. So the reconciliation procedure CAN be used to pass the health care bill with only 51 VOTES !

The downside of the bill being passed through this procedure is that, due to a ruling known as the Byrd Rule, non-budget legislation designed to regulate the insurance industry could not be included in the bill and would have to be voted on in a separate bill which would need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. But there is a strategy that can be used to overcome even this obstacle as described by Ryan Grimm of HuffPo:
But there's another alternative, according to Martin Paone. Paone, who served as a Democratic Senate floor staffer for 29 years, has been advising Democrats as they craft their legislative strategy. He proposes that Democrats try to get 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule -- which would then allow the inclusion of those non-budget-related provision in one bill that would require only 51 votes for final passage.

What's the advantage? And why would any senator who opposes the entire bill vote for such a waiver? The answer can be found in the specific proposals that would be in violation of the Byrd Rule. Mostly, those would include reforms to the way the insurance industry operates -- for example, a ban on using preexisting conditions to deny coverage, or a law that insurance companies can't drop a client just because they get sick.

Those are wildly popular reforms. Getting 60 votes to support those policies is much easier than getting 60 for a public health insurance option, which Republicans and some conservative Democrats oppose.

Conservative senators such as Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) or Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) could, in voting for a Byrd Rule waiver, put themselves on the record as being in support of popular insurance industry reforms, while still opposing final passage of the bill -- a political strategy that may be appealing to them.
So, as the media continues their daily rant of how imperative it is that EVERY Democratic Senator vote yes on the health care bill remember one FACT that they seem to want to hide from We The People. There IS a way for the Senate to get the bill passed WITHOUT 60 votes...without Traitor Joe...without Olympia Snowe...without Mary Landrieu...making them absolutely meaningless in the debate.

Now, WE must let Harry Reid know that WE know that this option is in fact available to him. Call...Email...and DEMAND that if he feels he doesn't have the 60 votes needed to block the filibuster, then We The People...


When they, our great politicians realize that WE KNOW that they have this option...they will be FORCED to use it...even if they had other intentions (like letting the bill stall or even fail). Help the word RECONCILIATION become a household word. Spread the fact that this IS in fact an alternate means of the Senate getting the bill passed. Since day one, President Obama has stated that he would not be able to create Change on his own...that he would need OUR help. Time to do OUR part by DEMANDING that our politicians do EVERYTHING possible, including RECONCILIATION, to stop 44,000 Americans from DYING each year due to the lack of access to quality health care, by passing health care reform-with a strong public option-for all.

Email the media to let them know that WE know
and are DEMANDING that our politicians

Get It Done !

Related Articles:
Gibbs: White House Not Ruling Out Reconciliation

Robert Reich Pushes Getting STRONG Public Option

Also Read: The Rules/History/Process of Reconciliation

ONLY Way To Go !


What the budget reconciliation would do is allow the majority to bypass normal procedures for debate and vote on a bill -– by only having 20 hours of debate and forcing a simple majority vote at the end -– and more effectively implement their agenda. (Matt Zeitlin)

Some say that RECONCILIATION should
not be used or it might make Republicans retaliate
by voting NO on all future Democratic bills.