President Barack Obama gave a speech this afternoon that some have deemed his “last, best chance to move forward.” But opponents of reform are not enthused with his effort to include a handful of GOP health care ideas.
Cato’s Michael Cannon, reacting to Obama’s insertion of some Republican ideas after last weeks’ summit, says, “Dropping a few Republican ideas into a government takeover of health care is like sterilizing the needle before a lethal injection: a nice thought, but the ultimate outcome is the same.”
Heritage’s Conn Carroll agrees with Cannon, writing: “Simply adjusting the magnitude of the existing proposals or adding so-called conservative provisions does not change this fundamental direction.”
Hot Air’s Ed Morrisey doesn’t think adding a few GOP ideas is good politics either: “This looks like yet another miscalculation, a gambit that will keep Congress tied up on ObamaCare well into the spring and perhaps the summer.”
Critical Condition’s Grace-Marie Turner says, “The president is expected to ask the Senate to twist its rules to force its health-overhaul legislation through a process designed exclusively for budget and spending-related issues. These are desperate, hard-ball political tactics.”
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein interviews Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad about that process, known as budget reconciliation. Conrad rejects Republican concerns that using reconciliation is a break from precendent and points to a number of Republican uses of the tactic.
Time’s Jay Newton-Small profiles Alan Frumin, the current Senate parlamentarian, and looks at how both parties have been prepping to get their way in a reconciliation debate.
Open Congress’ Donny Shaw compiled a list of provisions that were rejected under reconciliation in past years.
And the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reports that Ted Kaufman, D-Del., is the 34th senator to sign a letter in support of including a public option in a reconciliation bill.