Skip to main content

The HHS rate review oversight proposal, introduced by Feinstein and included in the Obama plan, hasn't passed muster with the parliamentarian under the Byrd rule, as many of us speculated would be the case at the time it was proposed.

"I'm crushed it's out," [Feinstein] said. But she added that she would bring it up with him one more time to try to make the case that it would be a legitimate use of reconciliation. "I'm going to make one last effort with the parliamentarian," she said.

It'll be a difficult effort. Reconciliation rules require that legislation must have a direct and substantial effect on the budget to qualify for the majority-vote procedure. Merely an incidental budget effect is not enough. Feinstein's rate authority would save the government money by reducing private insurance premiums, which would then reduce the amount of subsidies needed -- but such an effect is apparently too indirect for the parliamentarian to give it the thumbs-up.

Including the Feinstein's rate authority would be a risky move for Democrats. If Senate Republicans are able to alter the package in any way through parliamentary points of order, then it must go back to the House for yet another vote -- the last thing Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants. If the Senate passes the House version unchanged, it goes directly to the president for his signature.

This could be a bill passed as a stand-alone, along with the repeal of the anti-trust exemption that the House has already passed. They'd be key steps in the "building on this bill to make reform real" promises progressives keep getting in return for supporting this bill. Of course, it would probably be passed by the House only to be tossed on the pile of bills the Senate will never get to.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 05:26 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site