Health care reform has been an ever present topic since the early days of the most recent Presidential campaign and ensuing election. 2009 was filled with rhetoric from both major political parties. A health care reform bill appeared and there was an air of extreme urgency to pass the bill using several arbitrary deadlines, although the actual provisions of the bill would not go into effect until 2013 and 2014. Attempts by some politicians to slow the process and bring the full bill up for debate were stonewalled.
As different pieces of the proposed Health Care Bill began to surface, the American public, sensing that something wasn't quite right, demanded public debate. Then came the summer of heated town hall meetings. Citizens wanted answers. Whether or not these Town Hall meetings were successful is a topic for debate.
Now, after the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the composition of the Senate has changed and the Democrat super majority of 60 Senators is gone. The ability for the Democrat controlled Senate to obtain the necessary 60 votes to pass a revised Health Care bill is very slim. So, the Democrats have floated the idea of passing the bill using a parliamentary procedure called Reconciliation. According to CNN,
Washington (CNN) -- As a major White House meeting on health care reform approaches this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged Tuesday that he may use a controversial parliamentary shortcut to bypass GOP opposition and pass a bill.
The fast-track approach, known as reconciliation, would allow Democrats to pass the bill with just 51 votes, not the 60 usually required to overcome a filibuster.To be fair, the article goes on to point out that Reconciliation has been used by both Democrat and Republican majorities in the past on several different fronts.
Sen. Harry Reid (D), Senate majority leader stated, "They should stop crying about reconciliation as if it's never been done before. It's done almost every Congress, and they're the ones that used it more than anyone else."
What I find interesting, is that the process referred to as Reconciliation today was called referred to as something completely different in 2005. In fact, Democrats didn't have the "get over it" mentality demonstrated by Sen. Harry Reid. Here's a compilation of different Democrats in 2005.
I guess your position in the process DOES change your perspective.