Saturday, March 21, 2015

Republicans to Use Reconciliation Process to Repeal ObamaCare

The media is full of reports that Republicans plan to repeal ObamaCare with 51 Senate votes.

What’s this all about? In part, it’s tit for tat, one good turn deserves another, and do unto others what they did unto you. It’s something called the Reconciliation process or maneuver.

Today, March 21, the first day of Spring, marks the fifth birthday of the Democratic-created Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which was followed on March 23, 2010, by the passage of ObamaCare.

A little history. President Obama was elected in November 2008. He inherited a House and Senate dominated by Democrats. The Senate had 60 Democrats. Obama’s team wrote the health law in 2009 and 2010. Then fate stepped in. Senator Ted Kennedy died in August 2009, and his successor, Republican Scott Brown, was elected in January 2010. That election left the Democrats one vote short of the 60 required to avoid a GOP Senate filibuster.

So Democrats went to work and crafted the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which required only 51 votes rather than 60 votes to pass legislation. On March 23, 2010, 2 days later. Democrats passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by 220 to 211 in the House and 56-43 in the Senate without a single Republican vote.

Pass forward to today. In 2015 , now that they are in the majority, Republicans plan to use the Reconciliation Act to repeal ObamaCare. They know President Obama will veto their repeal , but reconciliation has the benefit of showing the GOP can act in concert, and of forcing the President to veto a measure supported by the public in countless polls.

Also, if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare in June, it moves the GOP closer to gutting the health law, at least symbolically. Whether this all occurs will depend on the outcome of the current Republican budget battle to cut federal spending and strengthen the military. In other words, the reconciliation battle is more than just tit for tat, or one good turn deserves another, or doing unto others what they have done unto you, it’ symbolizes battle for the soul of America in the Presidential and Congressional elections in 2016.

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