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‘Reconciliation Bill’ Is Just A Place Holder

As you may be aware by now, the House released its so-called ‘reconciliation bill’ in the middle of the night. It is 2309 pages long and available for download here (a pdf file).

We have this explanation from The Hill:

House Democrats release bill for Budget markup Monday

By Michael O’Brien – 03/14/10

House Democrats on Sunday night set into motion what they hope will be the final steps on healthcare reform.

The House Budget Committee on Sunday evening released text that will serve as the base legislation for the changes the House will seek to the Senate bill this week.

Specifically, the Budget committee released a 2,309-page effort that had been previously recommended to the Education and Labor Committee and Ways and Means Committee last year.

The measure posted online does not include the substantive changes to the Senate healthcare bill that House Democrats will seek. Those changes will be offered during the markups in the Budget and Rules committees, which the budget panel hopes to begin on Monday afternoon.

The House is expected to approve the Senate’s healthcare bill along with the package of changes. The Senate would then be expected to approve the package of changes under budget reconciliation rules…

But we believe the following article from The American Spectator is the clearest explanation of what is going on, so far:

The Health Care "Shell" Game Begins

By Philip Klein on 3.15.10

Shortly before midnight on Sunday, Democrats released a 2,309 page health care bill that will start the process of reconciliation — but don’t let that fool you, it’s not the actual reconciliation bill with all the changes you’ve been reading about. Instead, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican member on the Budget Committee, explained to me last week, this is just the "shell" bill — the vehicle that Democrats need to get moving on health care. Once the bill gets approved (likely Monday), Democrats will send this phantom bill over to the Rules Committee, where it will be  stripped, and then they’ll insert in all of the actual changes that they’ve negotiated.

Why all of the theatrics?

Well, under the reconciliation rules in last year’s budget, any reconciliation bill would have to have been submitted to the Budget Committee by October 15, 2009. It just so happens that earlier versions of health care legislation cleared the Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees last year. So Democrats just dusted that legislation off, and are using that as the vehicle to begin the reconciliation process. That’s why, for instance, if you look through the 2,309 page bill that was released Sunday night, you’ll find a public option, which leadership has indicated would not actually be in the final bill. (Interestingly, the student loan bill is also tacked on at the end.)

Just a "simple up or down vote," remember?

Last week, Ryan told me that Republicans don’t have the votes to stop the bill in the Budget Committee and that Democrats will also be able to prevent Republicans from offering any amendments. However, GOP members will be able to offer "motions to instruct" the Rules Committee, that Ryan said will be used highlight problems with the "unprecedented" step that Democrats are taking.

For more, check out Ryan’s op-ed in the Washington Post.

In other words, the Democrats are using the House bill from last August as the basis for their ‘reconciliation bill’ so they can get around the deadline for reconciliation — which was October of last year.

And this would explain the similarities, such this from pp 1167-8 of the ‘reconciliation bill’:

Subtitle B—Public Health
17 Insurance Option
21 PLAN.
22 (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—For years beginning with Y1,
23 the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this sub24
title referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) shall provide for the
25 offering of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan

•J. 55–345
1 (in this subdivision referred to as the ‘‘public health insur2
ance option’’) that ensures choice, competition, and sta3
bility of affordable, high quality coverage throughout the
4 United States in accordance with this subtitle. In design5
ing the option, the Secretary’s primary responsibility is
6 to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or
7 access to care.

Which is identical to the same section on page 211 of the August House bill:

Subtitle B—Public Health
6 Insurance Option
10 PLAN.
11 (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—For years beginning with Y1,
12 the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this sub13
title referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) shall provide for the
14 offering of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan
15 (in this division referred to as the ‘‘public health insurance
16 option’’) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of
17 affordable, high quality coverage throughout the United
18 States in accordance with this subtitle. In designing the
19 option, the Secretary’s primary responsibility is to create
20 a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to
21 care.

So, according to Representative Ryan, once this ‘phantom’ bill gets approved (probably Monday), Democrats will send this it over to the Rules Committee, where it will be ‘stripped,” and then put in all of the real changes they have negotiated.

All in the spirit of openness and transparency and honest government.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “‘Reconciliation Bill’ Is Just A Place Holder”

  1. proreason says:

    shell game

  2. Mithrandir says:

    Can you believe this guy is President? That is why I hate all those lawyer shows on television. People love to be tickled in the ear by these slick-talking, glorified carnival workers, trying to get your attention and shake you out of your money.

    Take a look at Congress! All those dorks, geeks, nerds, and losers from high school are running our country!

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Everything about this is wrong. Procedurally, legally, ethically, morally, and yet they are determined to hit us over the head with it.

    It’s a bad dream that we can’t wake up from….or soon will be.

    @2:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDd_ryixqyA

  4. BillK says:

    Does anyone even want to pretend this can be stopped any longer?

    Axelrod is right – Obama will literally pull out every stop at his disposal to make it so.

    • proreason says:

      I will.

      Andrew Johnson would have been impeached except for the vote of a single senator.

      And if it isn’t stopped, the firestorm will consume the country. The aftermath will rage for a decade, at least.

    • BillK says:

      I don’t think so.

      Pelosi is right – once Americans get their “freebies” they won’t care what the bill does to the economy long term and will love it.

      Heck, between ObamaCare and the new unemployment extension, why work at all?

    • proreason says:

      It needs to be stopped BEFORE it goes into law.

      But in any event, those “freebies” don’t kick in until 2015, but the taxes begin immediately,

      Ten years ago the truth wouldn’t be known for decades…..but it’s different now.

      Let the firestorm begin. There are millions of us ready to do whatever it takes.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Ten years ago the truth wouldn’t be known for decades…..but it’s different now.

      Exactly. And the internet has been the one thing that may save this from ever happening. And, of course why the democrats want absolute control over it. If the information can’t get out, they can shellac the whole nation the way they have for generations. Getting legislation passed that the public won’t see the damages of for time to come.

      Many excellent minds and astute people like Steve Gilbert providing an absolutely indispensable service to the rest of us.

      Knowing the details of any deal is absolutely essential. Forewarned is forearmed.

    • tranquil.night says:

      “Let the firestorm begin. There are millions of us ready to do whatever it takes.”

      We all hoped for a different outcome, but I think we all knew it was headed here, because we all knew who Barry is.

      He threw down the gauntlet and has been swimming upstream ever since.

      Chaos was the goal, crisis was the vessel – the more damage to America’s image and reputation, the better. It’s been their only consistency all year.

    • Dupree says:

      Luckily, there will be four years between when they start taxing for it and when the freebies start flowing. That is the only window to get rid of this if it passes.

    • BillK says:

      “Whatever it takes” is fine, but know as I’ve stated elsewhere, the law has been laid down by Obama and the DNC:

      * Vote for the bill, and if you lose your office in the election, you’ll be taken care of afterwards with a cushy job for the rest of your life thanks to our friends.

      * Vote against the bill and the DNC will use every dollar in their warchest to make sure you don’t even make it out of your local primary, as we’ll run candidates against you, pay for their ads and fly the still popular with almost 50% of Americans President in to campaign for them – or we’ll just use the dirt we’ve compiled against you and watch you swirl down the drain that way (see: Massa.)

      Mafia rules fitting and just the normal mode of operations for a Chicago politician.

      With so many Democrat ideologues in office who either don’t care about reelection as this is the “right thing to do” or whose electorate either wholeheartedly supports the bill or is about to boot them out of office because it’s not radical enough (Pelosi’s) protests have limited effectiveness.

      For example, my Congressmen and Senators are Democrats, so there’s no point in my ever writing them or calling them as their attitude is “You didn’t vote for me last time, you certainly won’t vote for me next time,, so why do I care what you have to say?”

  5. canary says:

    I agree with a Senator on FOX that said the bill stays as it is written when passed .None of this tweaking after wards can be done, which the reason the Obama & Democrats have made this such a rush over something so huge.
    It must be done slowly, a piece at a time. And anything added last minute is passed too. It must be stopped.

  6. Clownzaround says:

    I wrote a article on here about this.
    If they vote on this and pass it it will destroy the Constitution ,Bill of rights and the declaratiojn of independence this will be communist rule all freedoms will be lost this is a coop and once it is voted on it will take 67 Senators to over rule it.

    this bill they can add to at anytime to make more laws this Bill is a shell bill
    It has Our Gun Rights ,Student Loans,
    Senior Genocide
    Medicade and Social Security and everything to the kitchen Sink this is not about healthcare it is about the overthrowing of a Government

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    I’ll bet a hundred bucks this broad mixes cosmos & a Shirley Temple outfit whenever Rahm comes over for “a briefing”.

  8. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Does anyone even want to pretend this can be stopped any longer?”

    Thank God .. there was approximately 4,000 people (guesstimated by the Capitol Police) assembled at the Minnesota State Capitol this past Saturday doing all they can to make sure it doesn’t get passed.

    That’s huge!

    4,000 people assembled with about a weeks notice and on a cold, dreary, and semi-drizzly day in Minnesota is HUGE! A nice day in June would’ve been 3 times that. 12,000 folks in “blue Minnesota” – yeah, that’s HUGE!!!

    Don’t give up on the idea we CAN beat this! That’s what they’d like us to do. We can beat it before it becomes law; and there’s plenty of plans to get it un-done if perchance it does get jammed down our throat.

    Call these clowns and tell ’em NO!!! Show up at any of the rallies against it!!! We’re talking about our Country. We can do this!

    56 fellows signed the Declaration of Independence and pledged, “.. their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor ..” so that we could live free from the oppression and tryanny of a very strong and capable England – we need to honor their sacrifices and pledge by doing all we can to preserve this greatest example of freedom and liberty in the world ever!!!

    Don’t give up .. don’t give in!!!

    • BillK says:

      Rallies and protests only work if your elected officials care what you have to say.

      Far too many don’t, and as I mentioned above, given their choices they’ll lose their seats either way so why not be taken care of for the rest of their lives by being nominated to boards and getting the cushy college administrative positions the DNC can deliver as their way of saying “thanks?”

  9. proreason says:

    Looking forward to them passing a law with a process that is unconstitutional.

    Numbers of experts are now weighing in on the Slaughter Slime process:


    Mark Levin, among others, has also said the processis is unconstitutional.

    Both houses must sign laws with identical language. It’s that simple.

    The Slaughter Slime is a juvenile trick that will be slapped down by the Supremes in short order. They will give it quick precedence because it is a multi-trillion dollar boondoggle that will wreck the country.

    As if he isn’t in enough doo-doo of his own making, the “Constitutional Scholar” is really running out of toilet paper with this scheme.

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