Children and Families Still Need Coverage Despite the Latest Roadblock for Health Reform – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

The election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate changes
many things, but it doesn’t change one simple fact:  children and families still need better access to quality,
affordable health coverage.  

While figuring a way out of this sticky situation is
above my pay grade, there are a lot of savvy legislative strategists working on
the next step for health reform legislation.   It’s very likely that the reconciliation process will
be part of the solution.  As we all
anxiously wait to see what’s next, we might want to channel our nervous energy
into refreshing our understanding of the reconciliation process by re-reading
last Fall’s entry by CBPP’s Edwin Park.  

Here’s a condensed version of Edwin’s earlier post:

 What is Reconciliation?

First, the basics.  A reconciliation bill is a
single piece of legislation that typically includes multiple provisions
(generally developed by several committees) all of which affect the federal
budget — whether on the mandatory (or entitlement) spending side, the tax
side, or both.  Under House and Senate rules implemented when the
Democrats took control of Congress in 2007, reconciliation cannot be used for
legislation that would increase the deficit so any reconciliation bill must be
fully offset, that is it must include mandatory savings and/or revenue
increases that pay for any higher spending and/or tax cuts in the bill. 
Reconciliation, of course, can also be used, as it was originally, to reduce
the deficit.  Reconciliation is generally used to speed passage of
legislation through the Senate by providing special procedures that make it
easier for a bill to pass.



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