Thank you Paul Krugman
The brilliant columnist Paul Krugman (who really looks like George Clooney) is at it again with a great piece on why this healthcare bill is an important one. With so much debate and back and forth currently going on, Krugman gets past the political posturing and focuses in on why this bill is so important for the American people.
In the past few days we have seen so many different options for getting a bill passed floated. These ideas range from a straight up or down vote to reconciliation to passage through affirmation. My personal feeling is that these issues are so important that we must pass something by whatever means necessary. Despite what the opposition would have you believe, all of these tactics have been used many times, by both parties, to get past blockades. For example, since 1980, reconciliation has been used 9 times when Republicans had control of both houses and 6 times when Democrats had the same control. It is an accepted practice and, if it was appropriate for 3 major Bush tax cuts, it is appropriate here. According to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, healthcare represents the single greatest cause of long-term budget troubles and, since reconciliation is to be used for budgetary measures designed to reduce the deficit (which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has found it will), it makes perfect sense to use it here.
If the Republican party is determined to block it at all costs then the Democratic leadership is completely justified in finding other ways of to pass this budget-reducing bill. The CBPP has a great explanation of how it would be used and what that process would look like.
One thing we know for sure is that the next few days will certainly be quite interesting…