By Quin Hillyer at National Review Online, whereby I urged compromise to help appeal to conservatives;
Frankenstein’s limbs are severable, and able to be reassembled, until the creature is finally brought to life. Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team should consider that when trying to garner conservative votes for the Obamacare replacement bill, or “Ryancare.” Compared with a number of well-designed, conservative health-policy proposals over the past decade, Ryancare is a Frankenstein monster of disparate elements that don’t really work well together — including elements of Obamacare that ought to be excised completely rather than used as part of the new monster. The leadership surely could have done better.
But one good reason they felt obliged to reuse some bad parts of current law is that excising them could run afoul of the soon-to-be-famous rules on budget “reconciliation,” which enables the Senate to avoid a 41-vote filibuster against budget bills. Concerns about reconciliation are not illegitimate, and conservatives who dismiss them aren’t budget bills. Concerns about reconciliation are not illegitimate, and conservatives who dismiss them aren’t playing straight with the American public. (Critics are definitely bordering on
demagoguery or hypocrisy in some of their other complaints, but that’s a different subject.) As Philip Klein explains well in the Washington Examiner, a provision passes muster under reconciliation rules only if it has a clear and non-incidental impact on the federal budget. So, to invent an example, if the bill tried to outlaw gauze bandages, that provision would have no obvious fiscal impact and therefore wouldn’t pass the reconciliation test.
On the other hand, conservatives have a valid point that some of the Obamacare regulations they want to repeal but that Ryancare leaves standing would surely have at least as much a fiscal impact as the does “individual mandate,” which Chief Justice John Roberts spuriously decided was a “tax.”….
For the rest, read here.