The idea of using reconciliationÂ has raised concern among someÂ supporters of health care reform.Â They fear that reform opponentsÂ would consider the use of reconciliationÂ high-handed. But in factÂ Congress created reconciliationÂ procedures to deal with preciselyÂ this sort of situation â€” its failureÂ to implement provisions of theÂ previous budget resolution. TheÂ 2009 budget resolution instructedÂ both houses of Congress to enactÂ health care reform. The HouseÂ and the Senate have passed similarÂ but not identical bills. SinceÂ both houses have acted but someÂ work remains to be done to alignÂ the two bills, using reconciliationÂ to implement the instructions inÂ the budget resolution follows establishedÂ congressional procedure.
Health care reform was in the 2009 Budget Resolution. Using budget reconciliation to make it happen isn’t an “end-around;” it’s what reconciliation was designed to do.