President Barack Obama has just signed into law comprehensive health care reform, expanding coverage to 32 million Americans, cutting the deficit by over $1 trillion, and codifying the principle that every American has the right to affordable health insurance.
The only thing left to do on health care is for the Senate to pass additional improvements to the overall bill that the House just approved through a separate reconciliation bill.
Even though no Senate Republicans are in support of the overall bill, they cannot stop it. It is now law.
They can only stop the reconciliation bill, which involves a handful of changes to the law. Those changes include the removal of the state-specific deals that conservative have gleefully labeled the “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Gator-Aid.”
Yet Senate Republican leaders have said blocking the whole reconciliation bill is exactly want they to want to do. In the words of Sen. John Cornyn: “We’ll either bring down the whole bill, or we’ll punch big holes in it.”
If Senate Republicans actually succeeded in killing the entire reconciliation bill, they will not have stopped health care reform. That is law.
Instead, Senate Republicans will have saved the “Cornhusker Kickback” and the “Gator-aid.”
Apparently, their hunger for obstruction is so absolute, it does not matter to them that they are about to choke on their own misleading talking points.
Perhaps it will dawn on some Republicans before the week is out that a vote against the reconciliation bill is a vote for the Cornhusker Kickback.
After all, only one week ago was the biggest bribe in American history and the downfall of our democracy.
Democrats stripped those deals out, taking the Republican criticism constructively.
If conservatives were serious about their hatred of those deals, and not just looking for cheap political hits, they will vote for reconciliation.