In their search for an endgame to the health reform debate, the Obama administration is examining new ways to at least get a comprehensive bill through the Senate. Media reports indicate that one strategy on the table is to split reform initiatives into two bills —one containing the least-contentious provisions that would pass the chamber with a standard 60-vote majority, and another full of hot-button issues, such as a government-run option, that would move through a filibuster-proof “reconciliation” process.
It’s a “risky political proposition,” says employee benefits law firm Groom Law Group’s Bill Sweetnam, and may not even be possible, as measures passed through reconciliation must relate to mandatory spending or revenue programs. Additionally, such an action would put moderate Democrats between a rock and a hard place.
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