Remembering the Obamacare “reconciliation”

When defending the positive aspects of Obamacare, White House officials and Senate Democrats often point to its so-called legitimacy by saying that it was passed by Congress and signed into law. While technically true, statements of this nature mischaracterize the process by which the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land. The truth is that the mammoth bill barely made it off Capitol Hill, and it was only through a legislative sleight of hand that it even passed despite Democratic opposition.

Reconciliation is a procedural process by which a simple majority – 51 senators – can move a bill forward in the Senate. It's used to make changes to bills that have already been advanced on the Senate floor – in essence, the move "reconciles" two bills into one. It became necessary because of acts such as the Cornhusker Kickback, when Ben Nelson of Nebraska had his vote bought with an amendment that gave his home state a higher percentage of Medicaid payouts than other states. Because Senate leaders knew that Nelson wouldn't back Obamacare as-written, they were forced to make the concession in order to reach the 60-vote threshold. Once completed, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used reconciliation to remark the updated bill to reflect its former contents, thus negating the Kickback and moving the law out of Senate.

Of course, reconciliation has been used many times over the years to advance bills. However, the problem is that President Barack Obama and senior Democrats crow about their legislative victory when their own party nearly scuttled it. The party as a whole managed to avoid the self-destructive cycle Republicans are now facing simply because they lost the House in the ensuing mid-term elections, giving Democrats a reason to unite behind the president.

Obamacare continues to be a bad deal for Americans and is a law that could create problems for investors as well. Robotic trading software is helpful during volatile times, so explore our site further to learn more.