The Gamesmanship Is Nearly Over

Sen. Kent Conrad, the Senate budget chairman, had this to say Sunday on the subject of reconciliation:

I have said all year as chairman of the Budget Committee, reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform. It won’t work. It won’t work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It was designed for deficit reduction. So, let’s be clear. On the major Medicare or health care reform legislation, that can’t move to reconciliation. The role for reconciliation would be very limited. It would be on sidecar issues designed to improve what passed the Senate and what would have to pass the House for health care reform to move forward. So, using reconciliation would not be for the main package at all. It would be for certain sidecar issues like how much does the federal government put up to pay for the Medicaid expansion? What is done to improve the affordability of the package that’s come out of the Senate?

And in case anything was unclear, he repeated: “Well, health care reform at large would not be—I’ve just said. Health care reform the major package would not be done through reconciliation. That would be unreasonable. But that’s not going to happen here.”

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The Gamesmanship Is Nearly Over

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