Republicans will likely have a weapon to overturn the new healthcare law in 2013: the reconciliation process, ace Republican strategist Karl Rove, writes in TheWall Street Journal
Democrats have expressed confidence they can prevent repeal of the new healthcare law. That’s because even if Republicans gain control of the Senate in next year’s elections, which is highly likely, the GOP is highly unlikely to reach 60 seats, which means Democrats would still have filibuster power to prevent an overturn.
“Not so fast. Keith Hennessey, a former White House colleague of mine, says Democrats are wrong,” writes Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush. “He argues that Republicans can repeal health-care reform with a simple Senate majority.”
That would be through the reconciliation process. It allows the Senate Budget Committee to direct other committees to make changes in mandatory spending and tax legislation.
So the Budget Committee could instruct the Finance Committee to reduce mandatory spending on insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion. “These two items make up more than 90 percent of spending in Obamacare,” Rove notes.
“All the changes from all the committees are then bundled into one measure and voted upon. Because reconciliation is protected by the rules of the budget process, it doesn't take 60 votes to bring it up, and it requires only a simple majority to pass.”
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