Health care and any overhauling thereof should not be done lightly.  It should not be rushed through Congress, like, say, the TARP bill was.  This is a big deal.

Well, apparently Obama thinks it’s too big to fail.

President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are poised to trample Republican opposition to his health care bill with a controversial legislative tactic known as reconciliation.

The fast-track process would protect Obama’s ambitious plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system from a potential GOP filibuster and limit the Republicans’ ability to get concessions. It also would give Democrats far more control over the specifics of the health care legislation.

Under typical Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to advance a bill, but reconciliation would enable Democrats to enact the health care plan with just a simple majority and only 20 hours of debate.

Democrats hold 56 seats in the Senate, and two independents typically vote with the party. Republicans have 41 seats, and there is one vacancy.

Republicans have complained furiously about the prospect of health care reform passing under fast-track rules. But they’re not planning to go down without a fight.

And that’s not the only ill-considered option not being properly considered.

But Democrats aren’t stopping at health care. Obama’s plan to cut private banks and other lending institutions out of the market for student loans would also move on a filibuster-free path.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that most House and Senate negotiators have resolved most of their differences over a congressional budget blueprint designed to advance Obama’s agenda through Congress. The measure will set the rules on how Congress considers Obama’s agenda for the rest of the year.

Lawmakers are rushing to agree on the budget framework in time to give Obama a victory within his first 100 days in office.

The negotiations have centered on the annual congressional budget resolution, which sets the parameters for the legislation that follows. Congressional votes next week would provide a symbolic victory for Obama’s sweeping agenda to enact a universal health care system, invest in education and clean energy and cut the exploding budget deficit to manageable levels.

Obama marks his 100th day in office on Wednesday.

This is big government run amok.  All Republicans can do at this point is try to get in amendments to ameliorate the damage.  Some Congressman, and many constituents, including those at the recent Tea Parties, complain that far too many legislators didn’t actually read the bill or know what was in it.  And yet they’re going to do it again; make the same mistake twice, very deliberately.

A government big enough to make these sweeping changes in the blink of an eye is big enough to foul it up in a big way.  And there’s a better than even chance it will be fouled up the faster it’s done and the less debate there is.

Filed under: DemocratsEconomicsGovernmentMedicinePolitics

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