Using Budget Reconcilliation To Pass Health Care Reform

I’ve generally tried to do the opposite of the news media and concentrate on how health care reform will affect medical care as opposed to dwelling on the horse race aspects of getting this through Congress. I’ll make an exception to point out one post worth reading. Brian Buetler runs through some of the complexities of using budget reconciliation to get health care reform through the Senate.

Budget reconciliation only requires a simple majority while otherwise it requires sixty votes to stop a filibuster. If the Democrats resort to this, it might become necessary to alter the bill to meet the requirements of a budget reconciliation measure. The irony here is that a more robust public option which has greater impact on the budget than the public option which is now being proposed might have an easier time meeting the procedural demands of the reconciliation process. Therefore if the Republicans filibuster health care reform it is possible that the result will be an even larger public plan. However it is also possible that this might lead some conservative Democrats to oppose the plan, possibly making it more difficult to achieve a majority vote.

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