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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 24, 2009 / 4 Elul 5769

Why Dems may jam through health care plan

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 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.


Previously:



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

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