The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

On the “Slaughter Solution” to pass Obamacare through the House:

Look, the reason that Pelosi sounded relatively uncertain is because there are two problems. Do you have enough votes in the House to pass the Senate bill as is? And I think she may not. And that’s why they are talking about the “Slaughter Solution,” named after the chair of the Rules Committee. . . .

Her idea is that you pass a rule — [procedures on] how you treat a bill in the House — then, instead of passing the Senate bill itself, you pass amendments [a reconciliation bill]. And what you do is you include in the rule itself … what’s called a “self-executing rule” which will then deem the Senate bill to have been passed, but not ever having had an up-or-down vote on it [the Senate bill].

This is Alice in Wonderland stuff. This is Twilight Zone. As I read Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, it says a law “shall have passed” the House and the Senate, not “shall have been deemed to have passed.”

It’s [being done] because here the Democrats are about to change one-sixth of the American economy and demanding ostensibly an up-or-down vote — but are so unwilling to actually have it voted on, that they want to have it deemed accepted in a vote on the rule.

[And that’s] because members of the House look at this as so toxic, so noxious themselves, they don’t want to have their name on it. They don’t want to make history. . . . They don’t even want to have an up-or-down vote on the bill [that enacts Obamacare]. . . .

You have an issue of democratic decency: It is rare enough, unusual enough, and really indecent enough to change a sixth of the American economy with a bill that has not a single support from Republicans.

But to do it by a procedure which doesn’t even approve of the bill itself is simply staggering.

On President Obama’s declaring yesterday in Ohio that his health-care reform makes Medicare stronger:

Look, I’m a pretty cynical guy, but this is a 10 on [the] Diogenes scale. This is really unbelievable. It’s as if no matter how many times you drive a stake through the heart of this one, it comes again.

Look, here’s how it works. The president says the Obama care will pay for itself. It costs about $1 trillion. You get half a trillion in taxes and half a trillion in Medicare cuts. That’s how it works.

Well, if you take the half a trillion in Medicare cuts, and you use it for this new entitlement, insuring the uninsured, it is spent. Now, you can’t use it again and put it in the trust fund to extend its [Medicare’s] life.

And it’s not only that it doesn’t extend its [Medicare’s] life, but, actually, it makes the Medicare finances worse because that half a trillion is the easiest half a trillion to cut. One day, and soon, you are going to have to make the cuts in Medicare in order that you can extend its life — and the cuts will be gone [used up for Obamacare], and that’s why it actually injures the solvency of Medicare.

And to claim that it [Obamacare] extends [the life of Medicare] is simply remarkable cynicism on the part of the president.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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