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Opposing healthcare reform reforms

March 21, 2010 |  9:13 pm

Could someone please explain why 211 House members voted "no" on the reconciliation bill? Granted, it's not great policy to delay the excise tax on high-cost plans until 2018, but the tax is the least popular feature of the healthcare bill that the House had just passed. The bottom line is that the bill would reduce the cost of healthcare reform *and* make it more affordable to working-class Americans, while also reducing the cost of the federal student loan program. Are there really that many votes for continuing to pay banks to issue loans they can't lose money on? Or is it just that Republicans reflexively vote "no" on anything the Democrats offer on health care?

Remember, the vote had no effect on the fate of comprehensive healthcare reform. That became a done deal when the House passed the Senate's healthcare bill, HR 3590. All reconciliation would do on that topic is make the bill better, or at the very least more politically palatable. And less costly.

-- Jon Healey

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