Mitch McConnell claims that the individual mandate can be repealed via reconciliation

Is he right? Is he wrong? Is this uncharted legal territory?

If you think that the GOP will refrain from passing repeal out of the Senate with only 50 votes plus the VP then you haven’t really been paying attention. Of course they will. And there is no such thing as “legal” territory here - the Senate rules are what the Senate says they are.

Remember what they did when told that they couldn’t pass the Bush Tax cuts under reconciliation (because they increased the deficit) - they fired the parliamentarian.

I happen to agree with Ezra Klein (I think it was him) who said that if the GOP wins the presidency and the Senate then they probably should repeal it. They will have won two big congressional elections and the presidency running explicitly against it - how much clearer could the public be (in this hypothetical)?

I seem to recall hearing someone in the Senate once say that reconciliation should not be used to affect one-sixth of the American economy, and that the people can and should react severely and negatively to such an act.

Maybe McConnell should have words with that fellow.

He’s right, but are the Republicans prepared to repeal just that one provision? There would be a lot of consequences to that.

There are 4 possible outcomes:

  1. It really is a bad idea and the pubs repeal/castrate it
  2. It really is a good idea and the pubs repeal/castrate it.
  3. It really is a bad idea and the pubs fail to repeal/castrate it
  4. It really is a good idea and the pubs fail to repeal/castrate it

Scenarios 1, 2, and 3 are all good outcomes for the GOP. They must at all cost stop 4 from happening. If ACA succeeds after all the work the GOP has done to paint it as evil and unworkable they may not recover for a decade. It will be like Hoover and Nixon all over again. Expect an all out war.

Seems to me that #2 is only good as long as enough of the voting public don’t know that it really is a good idea. Are you going forward under the assumption that this will happen?

Of course Obama will veto that bill anytime it arrives on his desk in his second term.

I think the point of reconciliation is that a bill isn’t required to be passed and therefore vetoed.

No. The point is that it allows the Senate majority to avoid a fillibuster. So it would be useful if Romney wins and the GOP gets a majority but not 60 votes in the Senate (and keeps the House). But if Obama remains in office, he can still veto any attempt to repeal the ACA (presumably the GOP won’t have a veto proof majority).

To what end? They repeal the Mandate and hang the entire insurance industry out to dry?

That was my thought. If they simply repeal the mandate, then healthy people won’t buy insurance. Sick people will, and if I remember right insurers can no longer turn them down. That would be very bad for the insurance industry.

On the other hand, no private sector insurance = government run health care. :eek: Mitch McConnell is a stealth socialist! Glenn Beck was right!!

They will repeal the whole damn thing, reconciliation rules be damned. Like I said, if you think they will let usual filibuster rules stop them you haven’t been paying attention. Romney + 50 GOP Senators + GOP House = Entire bill repealed. I guarantee it.

And, from a purely political perspective, that’s probably as it should be. If they win big again in the fall then the public has pretty clearly spoken that they want the law repealed.

Sorry, can’t agree with you here. It might be the case, but just because they win big does not necessarily mean it was because of opposition to the ACA. A minor point, I will concede, but correlation is not causation.

Yes. If the ACA is never implemented then conservatives can keep saying how bad it would have been. The risk is that it is implemented and works.

The entire bill was passed via reconciliation so I assume the whole thing could be repealed the same way (assuming, of course, the signature of the president)

That’s not true. The bill’s history is somewhat complicated, but most of it was passed in the Senate by overcoming a GOP filibuster (the vote was 60-39). Only the final amending bill (which only dealt with funding) was passed via reconciliation.

No it wasn’t.

The ACA was passed by 60 Dems in the Senate. A bunch of tweaks were later passed by reconciliation as part of a deal to get it through the House, but all of the basic parts of the bill (including the mandate and the requirement for insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, which presumably is what cyberhawk was refering to) were passed as a normal bill with 60 votes to bring it to the floor.

(not sure why people make this mistake so much, the whole fight to pass the ACA was pretty big news and its not like it was particularly long ago).

No doubt they’d find a way to adapt. Every other toilet in their executive washrooms made of solid gold, for example, and gold plate for the rest.

Yeah…I had forgotten that. Thanks for the correction.

Well to be fair it was quite complicated and I have a memory like swiss cheese.

(not sure why posters feel the need to make snide comments in parentheses)

50 votes is all it would take if a Senate wanted to go nuclear, even on this one issue. Make a half-assed argument that Obamacare as a whole stems from the mandate and can be repealed in its entirety via reconciliation rules.

Dems will cry foul and object. Vice President Tim Pawlenty will ruled from the chair that “Gosh darn it, this IS one giant bill that can all be repealed via reconciliation.” The Dems appeal from the decision of the chair. The vote is 50-50. Pawlenty breaks the tie by upholding his own earlier ruling.

Bill now needs 50 votes, plus Pawlenty to repeal the whole law.