Monday, December 14, 2009

Split the bill !

Ezra writes:
Joe Lieberman's compromise, it seems, is no compromise. And he's infuriated so many Senate and House Democrats, not to mention so many in the Democratic base, that his bitter reversal might have made the prospects of any compromise a lot more remote. (...)

Democrats will look toward Olympia Snowe at this point, but if nothing works out, they may have to open the question of reconciliation once more. The irony is that the strange workings of the reconciliation process would strip the bill of the parts that Lieberman, Snowe and others favor and replace them with the exact policies they oppose. (...)

... reconciliation, which short-circuits the filibuster, can only be used for legislation that directly affects the federal budget. Anything that "indirectly" affects the budget -- think insurance regulations, like the ban on preexisting conditions -- would be ineligible.

What would be eligible? Well, Medicare buy-in, for one thing. Medicaid expansions. The public option. Anything, in short, that relies on a public program, rather than a new regulation in the private market. That means we'd probably lose the regulations on insurers, many of the delivery-side reforms, the health insurance exchanges, the individual mandate and much else.
Put the Medicare-whatever/public option in one bill. Get it through reconciliation. Put the other stuff, private market regulation, in another bill. Get that through the 60-votes/even-Lieberman-and-Snow-will-vote-for-it path.

This has got to be an option Reid is thinking about.


What a good plan!
Please keep after it!
Don't let it fade!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/15/2009 3:29 PM  

please call reid's office and suggest he do this. something tells me they're not as bright as you. this option might have not occurred to them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/15/2009 5:06 PM  

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