The Corner

Obama Will Call for Reconciliation

According to White House sources, President Obama will tomorrow call for a reconciliation vote on the “sidecar” of fixes to the Senate bill.

ABC News’s Jake Tapper reports:

The president will outline the plan to pass the bill, including having the House of Representatives pass the Democratic Senate health care reform legislation as well as a second bill containing various “fixes.”

He will say that if Republicans refuse to allow and up or down vote in the Senate on the fixes to the bill, Democrats will use the reconciliation rules.

He will argue these rules are perfectly appropriate because the procedure is not being used for the whole bill, just for some fixes; because reconciliation rules are traditionally used for deficit reduction and health care reform will reduce the deficit; and because the reconciliation process has been used many times by Republicans for larger legislation such as the tax cuts pushed by President George W. Bush.

The president will also extend a hand to work with Republicans on measures they have pushed, including $50 million for state grants for demonstration projects to explore alternatives to medical practice cases, and a crackdown on Medicaid and Medicare fraud as proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

He will also herald the removal of extraneous provisions in the bill such as the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback,” a deal to secure the support of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., in which the federal government would pay for Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion; and “Gator-aid,” the provision to shield Florida seniors from cuts to the Medicare Advantage program, secured by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Mr. Obama will say that he will be working on exact legislative language in the next few days. Republicans can join him and Democratic congressional leaders of the House and Senate to makes these changes and to pass the bill, but either way the bill will be moving forward.


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