May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
August 24, 2009
/ 4 Elul 5769
Why Dems may jam through health care plan
What will happen if Democrats try the "go it alone" strategy to pass national health care?
That's not even a question in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cut Republicans out of health care from the very beginning. House Democrats have been going it alone all along, and if they can agree among themselves on a health care bill, it will pass.
But the Senate is another story. Republicans see the Senate as their great hope, and there's no doubt the GOP could do some serious damage to any Democratic bill. But Republicans have to face the fact that Democrats have the power, on their own, to pass a bill that could ultimately lead to the liberal dream of national health care.
First, the best-case scenario for the GOP. Republican staffers are studying the Senate's arcane rules governing the process known as "reconciliation." Those rules allow the Senate to pass some measures with a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes. Theoretically at least, Democrats could pass a health care bill with no Republican help even if all 60 Democrats are not on board.
But reconciliation is allowed only on proposals that deal directly with the budget or are primarily fiscal in nature. So Democrats could use reconciliation to pass parts of the health care bill that have a direct fiscal effect, but not other measures creating things like health care supervision agencies. If Democrats try to pass measures that are deemed "extraneous," Republicans could object and have the measures stripped from the bill.
That is, for example, what undoubtedly would have happened to the notorious end-of-life provisions that have now been removed from the Senate Finance Committee's bill. In that same way, it's possible Republicans could kill a lot of what is currently in the health care reform proposals. (In addition, any measure passed by reconciliation would be temporary, usually lasting five years.)
The prospect of a paragraph-by-paragraph reconciliation fight has led to what some Republicans call the "Swiss cheese scenario." Each time Republicans defeat a portion of the bill, they'll poke another hole in the Democrats' ambitions. Poke enough holes, and the Democrats' vaunted health care plan is Swiss cheese.
There's no doubt that prospect scares some influential Democrats. Sen. Robert Byrd himself is opposed to using reconciliation for health care, calling it "an outrage that must be resisted." Sen. Max Baucus calls it "not a good idea," and Sen. Jay Rockefeller says it could create "a bill that goes nowhere." They're warning their colleagues not to take the go-it-alone route.
But there's another way of looking at it. Sure, Democrats can't get everything they want if they have to go through reconciliation. But look at health care reform as an unfinished building. There are plenty of examples of past legislation that began somewhat modestly and expanded as the years went on. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP, has been enormously expanded. Medicare and Medicare are far bigger today than when they were created. Programs grow over time as lawmakers add features and increase eligibility.
The story could be the same for the current health care proposals, through which Democrats, with no Republican support, could put in place the basic structure of a national health care plan. It doesn't have to be gold-plated, or even finished. That could come later.
"You can build a building that's missing certain features," says one old Senate hand. "Maybe the plumbing's not there, or the wiring. But the bottom line is, you have laid the foundation, and built the structure, and it becomes easier later on to add the plumbing, and add the wiring. You have set up a structure so that all you have to do in the future is make incremental changes."
Veterans of the Senate tend to flinch from the sort of all-out warfare reconciliation could bring. But the fact is, reconciliation might in the end be the Democrats' best option. And it might work. Democrats wouldn't get everything they wanted, but they could create the structure for future growth. Later on, they'll add the plumbing. And the wiring. And maybe a chandelier.
It's precisely that scenario that most terrifies Republicans. Forget about Swiss cheese. Democrats are intent on building something much more substantial, and Republicans don't have the votes to stop them.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the Axis of Evil today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny
© 2009, NEA
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K