I don’t have a lot of time to break this down right now, but the Obama Administration’s proposed health care plan sounds pretty much right. Oh, it’s not perfect (and Firebaggers will see the dread hand of Rahm in the fact that it’s silent on the public option), but it makes some significant improvements to the bills that came out of the House and Senate – most importantly, it would increase subsidies for the poor and middle class, and would delay implementation of the “Cadillac plan tax” until 2018.
More important, though, is the fact that the White House is now saying this plan deserves an up-or-down vote, and that legislators should use procedure to get around a GOP filibuster. And that’s exactly right. Indeed, the Democrats should embrace that philosophy, and not just because they face a likely diminution in their numbers after November.
The Republicans have seized on the filibuster as a means of gumming up the works. It’s a procedural trick, and one they’re using effectively. The Democrats, therefore, need to find their own procedural tricks to work around it. This is Parliamentary Procedure 101. Using reconcilliation to force up-or-down votes is not just the right thing to do – it’s vital that it’s done. And Dems need make no apologies for doing so – no more than Bush apologized for passing his tax cut package through reconcilliation.