Ever since I read that House Democrats had released what it supposed to be the legislation for their final vote on health care, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly they’re trying to do. I mean, since they’re apparently going to be deeming the bill the Senate passed last December passed, shouldn’t that be the bill they’re releasing.
The House Budget Committee on Sunday evening released text that will serve as the base legislation for the changes the House will seek to the Senate bill this week.
Specifically, the Budget committee released a 2,309-page effort that had been previously recommended to the Education and Labor Committee and Ways and Means Committee last year.
But, get this:
The measure posted online does not include the substantive changes to the Senate healthcare bill that House Democrats will seek. Those changes will be offered during the markups in the Budget and Rules committees, which the budget panel hopes to begin on Monday afternoon.
So, in other words, they’ve released a final bill that isn’t really a final bill. With the help of Philip Klein, Michelle tries to unpack just what the Democrats are doing:
Philip Klein reminds us that GOP Rep. Paul Ryan warned last week of the Dems’ strategy ramming this “shell” HC Bill through committee tomorrow. The budget committee approves the shell, sends it to the rules committee, then strips out the language and stuffs the actual reconciliation changes into the burrito, Klein explains. Klein lays it all out here.
Doesn’t sound very transparent to me. Wonder if, as per Obama’s campaign promise, the Democrats allowed C-SPAN cameras to film the negotiations as they drew up this legislation and these procedural shenanigan. As U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) put it in today’s Washington Post:
This convoluted legislative charade demonstrates how far the Democratic majority has wandered from real health-care reform and cost control, employing any means to achieve political victory.
It’s all about achieving political victory, no matter what damage to our Constitution, our nation’s health care system or even the Democratic Party.
Even Democrats who support a major health care overhaul will shy away from such shenanigans and they won’t play well in Peoria–or any place outside the type of deep blue enclaves that elect folk like Nancy Pelosi and Chris Van Hollen to Congress.