FACT: ObamaCare was passed, using the original legislative vehicle, at 1:38am on 12/24/09 with 60 votes in the Senate (see below). The House then approved that Senate Bill without changes; and in February 2010 created a secondary bill which created the opportunity for the Senate to modify ObamaCare using “reconciliation” for a lower vote threshold of 51 votes.
Literally under the cloak of darkness Democrats rammed their holy grail of a socialist construct down the throat of every American. We no longer needed to imagine having usurping representation that did not represent the will of the people – we saw it.
[Understand the full construct by reading HERE] If you do not understand how legislation is created; if you do not understand the difference between the Senate and House; if you do not understand the way ObamaCare was created, you really need to read this first.
Republicans, while in the majority, only control 52 seats. Without 8 Democrats voting to approve a “repeal bill”, any House (Or Senate) bill that repeals ObamaCare cannot pass the Senate.
This is why Mark Levin is a con-man; selling snake oil as outrage to keep a listening audience angry, yet clueless and hopeless. That’s what I don’t like.
A complete repeal of ObamaCare is currently impossible. The House Freedom Caucus can push all the repeal bills they want, but they cannot get a clean repeal bill through the Senate because they cannot get the 60 votes needed. Period.
Additionally, despite claims to the contrary, the GOP has never passed an Obamacare “repeal bill”. Ever. What they did previously pass was a “defund bill” using the lower vote reconciliation process. President Obama vetoed it. A defunding bill was possible because of the financial pathway which falls under reconciliation rules. The current Ryan bill is almost identical to the 2016 defunding bill everyone is mistakenly calling a prior “repeal bill”.
A complete independent repeal bill of ObamaCare is currently impossible.
The only bill that can pass the Senate is a bill that can utilize the process of reconciliation, which has a lower vote threshold of 51 votes. A reconciliation bill is a budgetary bill designed around the financial drivers of ObamaCare. This is what HHS Secretary Tom Price, Speaker Ryan and President Trump are attempting to do.
A reconciliation bill cannot add substantively to the existing law. It can only modify the financial structures and retain the same 10-year budgetary impact. If you want substantive adds or removals of the law, beyond the financial structure, it is no longer a reconciliation bill.
If it is no longer a reconciliation bill, it requires 60 votes. 52 Republicans + 8 democrats. Democrats have already stated they will not support any substantive changes that undermine the key ObamaCare provisions.
Accepting the Democrats will not vote to repeal their signature law… The only way to fully repeal ObamaCare as an independent bill, and overcome the 60 vote threshold, would be to eliminate the filibuster rule (3/5ths vote threshold or 60 votes) in the Senate and drop the vote threshold to 51 votes, a simple majority, for all legislation.
However, if the Senate was to drop to a simple majority vote for all legislation the entire premise of the upper chamber minority party protection is gone. Forever.
There would no longer be any difference in the House or Senate for vote thresholds, and as a consequence there would no longer be any legislative protections for the minority positions. What this means, in combination with the previous passage of the 17th amendment, is the constitutional republican framework is gone.
The constitutional republic being now replaced with a pure majority rule democracy. The founding fathers regarded majority rule democracy less desirable than a monarchy because a simple majority means mob rule. At least in a monarchy you might get a wise king once-in-a-while. In a mob rule democracy emotion drives everything. You go from being a nation of laws, to a nation of laws of the moment based on emotion.
Eliminating the 3/5th’s vote threshold in the Senate would also mean there’s no real reason to keep the Senate around when in the hands of the same party as the House. The House can pass 50% +1 bills all by themselves. The Senate, the place where grand deliberations required the protection and consideration of the minority position, would be unnecessary.
All structural protections for the minority views would be dispatched. Forever.
Without the filibuster rule, and with the Senate having only a simple majority rule for passage, there would no longer exist an internal legislative check for any minority party to protect themselves from the laws created by a greater mob.
The ruling party would be in power as if they held a Senate super majority at all times. As a consequence, with minority protection eliminated, legislation impacting Texas (or any state) is then ruled by the legislative federal dictates from those representing New York and California (or any other aggregate). There is no legislative pressure to listen to, or consider, the position of the minority party.
You would think that constitutional conservatives would be necessarily predisposed against the dropping of a constitutional republic in favor of a pure democracy (mob rule).
However, within this current argument over the Price/Ryan approach to replacing ObamaCare you find exactly that. Emotional conservatives, and crony-constitutional conservatives like Mark Levin, arguing against the current House bill leaving only the option to drop the Senate filibuster on legislation and pass laws with a simple majority.
So you tell me, is this really a constitutional-conservative approach?
Really and honestly?
Of course there are problems with the current Ryan bill. It can only approach ObamaCare from the reconciliation aspect. It cannot go into the substantive changes, adds or modifications because that would require the 60 vote Senate. Again, See Here.
Additionally, despite claims to the contrary, the GOP has never passed an Obamacare “repeal bill”. Ever. What they did previously pass was a “defund bill” using the lower vote reconciliation process. President Obama vetoed it. A defunding bill was possible because of the financial pathway which falls under reconciliation rules.
Yes, the GOP could defund it 100% again, but then what?… It still exists as a program, and Trump would have to fund the existing (non repealed law) from somewhere. So you’re back to the 60 votes for a replacement again or eliminate the filibuster and go with the 51-vote threshold for all future legislation.
Back to current ObamaCare’s replacement – there are three options if we are going to retain a constitutional republic, and pass laws with the 60 vote senate filibuster threshold:
♦ Option #1 – We can do nothing – and allow ObamaCare to collapse on it’s own. In the interim many Americans will be negatively impacted and the more vulnerable and needy will be worst hurt. Premiums and co-pays continue to skyrocket while the insurance system tries to preserve itself.
♦ Option #2 – We can Repeal and Replace using the three-phase approach being proposed by Tom Price, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump:
- 1. Pass reconciliation legislation targeting the financial mechanisms.
- 2. HHS rewrites rules.
- 3. New laws are proposed by a full congress to adjust ObamaCare and add to it, and laws debated/passed.
Yes, this has it’s risks. No guarantee you’ll get the cookie you want in phase three.
♦ Option #3 – Pass futile structural repeal bills in the House, and watch them pile up in the Senate without the ability to pass and earn 60 votes. Shout and holler some more, gnash some teeth, and wait for 2018 when Republicans will attempt to win the other 8 seats needed. Again, even less of a guarantee on the outcome.
Those are our options.
….Unless you want to eliminate the Constitutional Republic and kill the vote threshold in the Senate. Even nasty Harry Reid didn’t do that when he created it.