Congress Uses “Reconciliation” to Push Deficit-Funded Obamacare

Congressional Republicans are using a procedural tool called “reconciliation” to repeal a miniscule number of Obamacare provisions, according to Chris Jacobs of the Conservative Review:

Lost in the noise amidst Speaker Boehner’s resignation last week was the House of Representatives’ decision to begin moving its budget reconciliation bill. Earlier this spring, conservatives voted for the budget blueprint in both the hope and expectation that the reconciliation bill coming from that budget would be used to put full repeal of Obamacare on President Obama’s desk. But based on the newly released legislative proposals, those expectations have been disappointed.

Just as important, however, the Obamacare legislative proposals are limited to the following provisions:

  1. Repeal of the law’s auto-enrollment mandate for employers;
  2. Repeal of the Prevention and Public Health “slush fund;”
  3. Repeal of the individual mandate;
  4. Repeal of the employer mandate;
  5. Repeal of the tax on medical devices;
  6. Repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer health plans; and
  7. Repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

That’s it. Under the proposed reconciliation instructions, a grand total of seven out of Obamacare’s 419 legislative sections—just over one percent of the law—would actually be repealed.

You won’t fail to notice that most of these provisions are tax-related. Jacobs notes 14 other Obamacare taxes could be repealed through reconciliation, but have been ignored. They must have harmed less powerful interest groups than the taxes described above.

However that is really beside the point: Repealing Obamacare’s taxes does not repeal Obamacare. It leaves a deficit-funded Obamacare. And that assumes President Obama will sign these bills.

Reconciliation is a parliamentary procedure used to move a bill through the Senate faster and ensure it gets to the President’s desk, but it does not mean he will sign it. No normal American knows or wants to know reconciliation from Rumpelstiltskin. What they want is an alternative to Obamacare, which Congress has failed to propose. Sending reconciliation bills to the White House to be vetoed might be exciting combat for Beltway insiders, but it does nothing to advance a credible, patient-centered, health reform.

Comments (2)

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  1. Ron Greiner says:

    Repeal of the individual and employer mandates plus the Cadillac Tax would cost the Feds a mountain of money. People would then switch to health insurance that didn’t pay 100% mental health benefits to unlimited lifetime maximums and save premium dollars. I suppose they would just purchase Short Term Medical (STM) because if they get sick they can still enroll into Individual Medical (IM) every Nov. 1st.

    • Thank you. Actually, repeal of the individual mandate is budget positive. Counter-intuitively, it increases revenues primarily because income tax revenues rise. Nevertheless, overall, the proposals listed above would increase the deficit, ceteris paribus.