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jsamuel's Journal
Posted by jsamuel in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jan 26th 2010, 04:38 PM
Crossposted from BlueArkansasBlog.com

In a statement, Blanche Lincoln joined Bill Nelson (NE) and Evan Bayh opposing the use of reconciliation to pass a fix to the Senate health care reform bill.

This is really the only way a health care bill could possibly be passed at this point. So, after voting for passage, Lincoln wishes to prevent even the current bill from passing.

The Hill
Democrats have been considering a number of options on how to pass their health care bill since losing their filibuster-proof majority in Massachusetts's special election last Tuesday.

One of the emerging options would be for the House to pass a "sidecar" bill making fixes to the Senate's original health care bill, and then sending the fixes to the Senate to pass under reconciliation, which would require a simple, 51-vote majority .


This option requiring only 51 votes (reconciliation), is the only way a comprehensive health care bill will pass since Democrats would never be able to have another vote and get one Republican to sign on. It is simply fantasy to suggest otherwise. Of course, the current bill passed by the Senate has too many problems that need fixing still. That is why the House refuses to pass it until the Senate agrees to fix the bill. However, that would require another 60 vote threshold that the Senate cannot make. Therefore, the only way to fix the bill is to pass it through reconciliation.

The Hill
"I am opposed to and will fight against any attempts to push through changes to the Senate health insurance reform legislation by using budget reconciliation tactics that would allow the Senate to pass a package of changes to our original bill with 51 votes," she said in a statement. "I will not accept any last-minute efforts to force changes to health insurance reform issues through budget reconciliation, and neither will Arkansans."


Arkansas wants a Public Option and Blanche Lincoln keeps putting words in Arkansans' mouths. A public option could pass the reconciliation process, as it only requires 51 votes or 50 votes and Joe Biden's tiebreaking vote. A Medicare expansion would likely have this much support as well. For more on this, see my post.
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