By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;
House Republicans should revive their effort to replace Obamacare by using Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree as a model.
Surely you remember: Charlie Brown chose the tiniest, scrawniest tree in the lot, presented it to the other kids, and then watched as the little tree wilted before their eyes. He thought it was dead.
Then, however, Linus wrapped his blanket around the tree’s base while the other kids gussied it up with lights and ornaments. When they finished, the tree looked wonderful, and the herald angels sang.
Likewise, because House Republicans can’t agree on exactly what their Obamacare replacement tree should look like, they should just take a tiny, bare-bones tree and send it to the Senate to be gussied up.
As has by now been well-reported, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the House has been figuring out what provisions will pass muster under Senate rules for “budget reconciliation” bills that only require 51 votes to pass. No matter what the House does, the Senate will change it significantly anyway, partly because of substantive philosophical differences and partly because the House may be either overestimating or underestimating how much reform can be squeezed within reconciliation guidelines.
So no matter what the House does, the Senate will alter the bill, and then send it back to the House, which then can have yet another crack at it….
[Later in the column]….
All of which means that it almost doesn’t matter what the House does on its first attempt. All that matters, at least for those who sincerely believe Obamacare is a terrible system and must be replaced, is that something related to healthcare passes the House and that (for reconciliation purposes) it be clearly budgetary in nature.
That’s why the House, being unable to agree on an entire bill right now, should just produce a bill like Charlie Brown’s tree.