Tuesday, April 28, 2009

URGENT: Oppose Fast Track of Healthcare Reform by April 29, 2009

Contact your Senator by this Wednesday, April 29, and ask him or her to oppose a budget resolution that includes reconciliation instructions. 

This budget reconciliation process is utilized when Congress issues instructions or directives as part of the budget bill in order to legislate policy changes in mandatory spending (entitlements) or revenue programs (tax laws) to achieve the goals contemplated by the budget resolution. Basically, it is a way of “packaging” many different budgetary concerns. In a normal budgetary process, each budget area’s spending will be debated and considered in separate committees. This process allows Congress to consider the budget as a single entity, a sweeping economic program that gets accepted or rejected as a whole.

The hot topics in the annual budget this year are energy independence, education reform, and healthcare. Our concern is that we don’t yet know what the healthcare reform part of the budget will entail, and these decisions are too important to happen without careful consideration—or without health freedom advocates being able to weigh in on the issues so important to us.

Democrats currently hold 58 seats in the Senate, and most legislation needs 60 votes in order to pass. The budget reconciliation process, however, allows the Democrats to move forward with this economic package with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the 60. 

“A reform of our healthcare system—a massive legislative undertaking that will impact every American—should be done through the normal debate and amendment process,” Sen. Judd Gregg (RNH) said in a statement. “To circumvent that process in favor of ramming through a partisan plan that needs only a simple majority to pass is a far cry from the bipartisanship that has been promised.”

As an organization that advocates for limited government interference in one’s healthcare decisions, we believe that healthcare reform is an item that unquestionably warrants open debate and extensive input from all stakeholders—which includes every American citizen. 

The use of the budget reconciliation process as a means to fast track healthcare reform—one of the most important issues facing our nation today—is about the most undemocratic maneuver a party could employ. 

Please contact your Senators and Representatives immediately to voice your opposition of using the budget reconciliation process for national healthcare reform.



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