Reconciliation, Here We Come

The word is that Senate Dems have agreed to go ahead with reconciliation to pass health care reform, as explained by Steve Benen

By agreeing to pursue reconciliation, the Senate leadership almost certainly believes it will have the 51 votes needed to approve the budget fix. This makes sense — even center-right Dems have been coming around on this procedural question in recent weeks, frustrated by Republican obstinacy.

I should emphasize, for any lawmakers or reporters who may be reading, that by agreeing to the majority-rule route, Dems aren’t talking about passing health care reform through reconciliation. Health care reform was already approved by the Senate in December, and it passed 60 to 39 through the regular ol’ legislative process. No tricks, no abuses, nothing unusual at all.

Rather, reconciliation will now be used — if all goes according to plan — to approve a modest budget fix that will improve the final reform bill.

More good news — some Senators are determined to continue to push for the public option, in a separate bill.

2 thoughts on “Reconciliation, Here We Come

  1. This is long, but I am going to impose on the hospitality of your blog to put this up. I was amazed when I did the research. The facts are not mine – if you find the perspective intereresting, do present them in a better form.

    Last year there were 1.4 million personal bankruptcies in the US. According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine in 2008, 62% of bankruptcies are linked to medical costs. An astounding 80% of those people HAD medical insurance.

    Conclusion: Over 800,000 bankruptcies in the US in 2009 were related to medical costs.

    Stay with me – The cost of health care reform for the next decade is estimated at 1 trillion, about half of which must be realized through new fees or taxes – That’s 500 billion.

    It’s hard to conceive of that much money. Conservatives claim that it will bankrupt the country. Let’s look at that. Suppose the richest man in America (Bill Gates) was bankrupted to pay for health care and the second richest (Warren Buffet) gave up all his empire and down the list you went to come up with the 500 billion we need, how many individuals would be wiped out – bankrupted – as 800,000 American families were last year alone.. to pay for health care?

    Answer – 37

    Yep. The fortunes of the 37 richest people in America would completely finance the cost of health care reform in America not accounted for in savings from Medicare for a decade!

    Source Forbes Magazine: … isplay.cfm

    That’s not how I propose it be financed – but it gives some scale to the magnitude of the gulf between the rich and the poor in this country. The US House proposal for financing was reasonable and not socialism:

    I quote

    “Starting in 2011, couples earning between $350,000 and $500,000 a year would be subject to a 1% surtax. For those making between $500,000 and a $1 million, the surtax would be 1.5%, and for those making more than $1 million the surtax would be 5.4%. …..A little more than 1% of U.S. households, or two million taxpayers, would be affected…”

    There’s a huge propaganda campaign (guess who is financing it) to prevent the rich from paying their fair share of taxes – and to provide citizens of this country with a shot at life – literally staying alive. I have no problem with people of differing opinions than I have – but facts are facts!

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