Who would have thought that Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would find the Gordian knot that will change the #Obamacare impasse from a grinding campaign to try to pass a repeal and replace bill that no one is entirely satisfied with? The senator seems to have found a way to avoid a filibuster entirely in the effort to reform health care reform and pass a new, free-market law.
Thus far the problem has been what and what not can be included in a reconciliation bill that only needs 51 votes to pass the Senate. The bill being presented does not contain things like group insurance plans by associations, buying policies across state lines, tort reform, or removing a lot of Obamacare regulations. What is left is something that conservatives have called “Obamacare-light.” The rest of the provisions, it is promised, will happen in a separate bill where 60 votes will be needed.
Cruz, a Harvard-trained lawyer, has found a way around all that. Ordinarily, it is up to the Senate Parliamentarian what and what cannot be included in a reconciliation bill. However, the senator has found a provision in the 1974 #budget Act that states that the Vice President, as President of the Senate, can also determine what can be in reconciliation. Hence, Obamacare can be tossed on the ash heap of history and replaced by free market reforms in one fell swoop.
If the Senate Republicans are willing to do it. Invoking the provision of the Budget Act would be seen as a radical move. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats would be enraged and will protest to the heavens. But it looks like the Republicans can roll them over and fix the greatest public policy blunder in a generation, if not a century. All they have to do is not go wobbly and stick together.
Of course, it should be mentioned that Obamacare was passed using dodgy tactics and lawyers’ tricks. It would only be fitting if the dysfunctional health care law is repealed using some clever lawyering. Trump will get his first legislative victory, Healthcare would be fixed, and Cruz becomes the master of the Senate. So much winning. #Ted Cruz