So, It's Reconciliation Then

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 3, 2010


President Obama all but hinted today that he is prepared to go the reconciliation route to get health care reform. As I have argued before, this is not a proper use of the reconciliation procedure. Megan McArdle and others have pointed out that reconciliation is designed to bring revenues in line with budgetary outlays, to reconcile, in other words. It is not meant to push forth new social programs. Thus, while tax increases and cuts can be pushed through via the reconciliation process, health care reform clearly cannot. Yes, health care packages have been pushed through via the reconciliation process in the past, but this effort has less to do with bringing revenues in line with outlays, and more to do with circumventing the fact that Democrats no longer have a 60 vote majority in the Senate.

Of course, it is worth noting that once upon a time, Barack Obama agreed that transformative change of the type embodied by his health care reform package, could not possibly go through except via a supermajority:

How times have changed.

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