The Republicans’ Dilemma of the Health Care Bill

Health, Politics

The current Congress reminds us of Richard Nixon in so many ways. For instance, the economy seems to be stagnating, and there is a congress that cannot pass any bill because of a difference of opinions. The government is also playing god by controlling government spending. Faced with such problems, the congress of 1974 decided to come up with a model that would help them pass contested debates hence dealing with tough decisions. This led to the rise of what is referred to as reconciliation today. While reconciliation has been used to enforce tax cuts in the past, it has never been used in other areas like health care. According to the New York Times, the Republican Party is planning on using the model to pass their stagnating health care bill.

The issues with the health care bills are largely budget related and not based on policy. This is the reason why Elizabeth MacDonough who is a Senate parliamentarian has asked both sets of Democrats and Republican to show what Obamacare repeal is based on. She has explicitly said that if the repeal is based on policy, she will not hesitate to ask for 60 votes which will be required to make the necessary objections. This is even made worse by the fact that she will likely use Senate rules. If the Senate rules are used, the bill breaks apart. What this means is that the Congress cannot pass a new health care bill which will be a huge blow to the Trump administration. However, the Republicans are left with the option of passing a bill that is a modification of the Affordable Care Act.

The Republicans suffered a defeat in the repeal of the Obamacare on Tuesday when the Democrats insisted that they had not been notified about the process. They made this complaint to the Congressional Budget Office that had to rule in favor of the Democrats. The first reconciliation was used in 1980. The past 37 years have seen the process used 24 times. While four of these efforts were thwarted, the rest proceeded to become law. The latest reconciliation was used in March 2010 to adopt a smaller section of the Obamacare. Some senators feel that the process is being abused lately. One such senator is Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan. Experts say that this process that the Republicans are using is very tricky and can backfire at any given moment.

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