(Bill Wilson) – Breathing new life into the most unpopular legislative abomination in recent memory, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is setting the stage for the last stand of ObamaCare. It is an effort that may ultimately fail, but one in which she is clearly unwilling to cede the battlefield.
Speaking at the Academy Health National Health Policy Conference, Pelosi’s legislative director Wendell Primus stated that the reconciliation process was “the only way” for Congressional Democrats to pass the ObamaCare monstrosity.
No kidding. The House cannot pass the Senate bill without significant changes, particularly to the abortion funding that flies in the face of the Stupak amendment, named after Congressman Bart Stupak who led the charge with some 39 House Democrats to strip such funding from the House version.
And the Senate cannot pass any modified bill now that Republicans have the 41st vote against cloture on the radical takeover of the nation’s entire health care industry. The election of Senator Scott Brown ensured that.
Which leaves the only scenario left, as outlined by Mr. Primus: “The House would have to take up [the reconciliation bill] first because it would involve revenue changes and then the Senate would pass it and then I think hopefully with the passing of that legislation, the House, only then would take up the Senate bill and pass it… The trick in all of this is that the President would have to sign the Senate bill first and then the reconciliation bill would be signed second and the parts of the reconciliation bill that trump the relevant portions of the first signed bill.”
Only, reconciliation is a process that is supposed to be limited to budget bills, not substantial changes to the laws of the United States that the health care takeover would represent.
The idea here — and the problem — is that House and Senate Democrats want to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate to enact government-run health care, solidifying one-party rule despite the election of Senator Brown in Massachusetts. For, if reconciliation can be invoked to avert the filibuster on this issue, it surely would be used to enact other radical proposals such as caps on carbon emissions, the takeover of the energy industry, the nationalization of the banks, etc.
ObamaCare is a plan that would ration care away from seniors, drive the American people off of private health options and onto the public system, lower quality, increase premiums, and bankrupt the Treasury with over $2.5 trillion in costs over ten years once fully implemented. It would unconstitutionally force the American people to be covered under either a private or public plan.
It, like the rest of the nation’s entitlement spending, is unsustainable, and as ALG News has previously reported, will hasten the nation’s descent into financial Armageddon, as the U.S. would eventually lose its Triple-A credit rating.
Which is why this morbid resurrection of the ObamaCare abomination must be stopped now. While Barack Obama is proposing so-called “bipartisan” talks with Republicans on health care, this is the real threat Democrats have lined up; the talks are a charade and a distraction from the true danger.
The process has become slightly more complicated with the passing of Congressman John Murtha, which may bring the Democrat total votes in the House down to 217.
As reported by the American Spectator, “When the health care bill passed the House the first time around, it did so with 220 votes — giving Pelosi just two votes to spare. With Republican Rep. Joseph Cao no longer willing to vote for the bill given the weaker abortion language and Rep. Robert Wexler having retired in the middle of his term (a special election to replace him won’t happen until April [13th])…” plus the death of Murtha, Democrats are conceivably down to 217.
The special election to replace Murtha probably won’t take place until May 18th, according to the Radio Business Report, and with no guarantees that a Democrat will replace him (or Wexler, for that matter), Congressional Democrats have a small window of opportunity to get this done, lest ObamaCare opponents get up to 218. Primus has indicated that the plan would be “very close to being done” by Easter recess, which begins April 3rd.
With 433 currently-filled seats, 217 would give Pelosi the barest of majorities to pass the government takeover of the health system. Coupled with the perversion of the reconciliation process and the elimination of the filibuster, it could be enough.
To review: Congress is planning on using reconciliation to eliminate the controversial abortion funding and pass the changes in the House. Then it would be passed in the Senate. Next, the House would pass the controversial Senate bill.
In the last stage, Obama would sign the Senate bill first, and finally sign the reconciliation bill which modifies the Senate bill. Congressional Democrats have a small window of time to do it, but it could work.
As such, this is a significant threat to the liberty of the American people and the institutions of limited government — and it must be stopped, before the ObamaCare abomination is raised from the dead, and the American people left to deal with the horrid consequences.
(Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government)