Pink Fire Pointer Healthcare Reform Update - 25March2010

Healthcare Reform Update - 25March2010

Reconciliation bill returns to House
  • Working until 3 a.m. this morning to review the Reconciliation Bill and a stack of GOP amendments, the Senate parliamentarian found two minor provisions that violate Congress’ budget rules.
  • This sends the Reconciliation bill back to the House for another vote.
  • The problematic provisions deal with protecting students from future cuts in their grants if Congress does not provide enough money for them. They violate budget rules because they do not produce savings.
  • The development came as the Senate completed nine hours of uninterrupted voting on 29 GOP amendments to the legislation. Majority Democrats defeated every amendment.
  • The Republican amendments were meant to force Democrats to cast difficult political votes before November's congressional elections.
  • Democrats also deflected GOP amendments:
    • Rolling back the health law's Medicare cuts;
    • Killing extra Medicaid funds for Tennessee and other state-specific spending;
    • Barring tax increases for families earning under $250,000; and
    • Requiring the president and other administration officials to purchase health care from exchanges the statute creates.