Part 1 of a series on the Affordable Care Act, its constitutionality and damage to the people and economy.
This act is illegal as it was passed through the reconciliation Process, which is a procedure used to reconcile a dispute on a budget bill. It has never been used for anything other than budget reconciliation. In order to get past this restriction Democrat Reed attached a rider called the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act against Republican objections then as Senate President Harry Reid (D) Nevada reclassified the bill as a budget (Monetary) bill. The altered bill was sent to the House of Representatives where Republicans could have stripped the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act stopping the Senate from passing it under reconciliation.
Please remember this as it is the first chance Republicans had to defeat the ACA.
I have attached a link to the Wikipedia site so you can check it along with a partial copy of the text in order to help you understand my points in this series on the ACA.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a budget bill with debate limited to twenty hours under Senate rules. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.
A reconciliation instruction is a provision in a budget resolution directing one or more committees to submit legislation changing existing law in order to bring spending, revenues, or thedebt ceiling into conformity with the budget resolution. The instructions specify the committees to which they apply, indicate the appropriate dollar changes to be achieved, and usually provide a deadline by which the legislation is to be reported or submitted.
A reconciliation bill is a bill containing changes in law recommended pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution. If the instructions pertain to only one committee in a chamber, that committee reports the reconciliation bill. If the instructions pertain to more than one committee, the House Budget Committee reports an omnibus reconciliation bill, but it may not make substantive changes in the recommendations of the other committees.
To trigger the reconciliation process, Congress passes a concurrent resolution on the budget instructing one or more committees to report changes in law affecting the budget by a certain date. If the budget instructs more than one committee, then those committees send their recommendations to the Budget Committee of their House, and the Budget Committee packages the recommendations into a single omnibus bill. In the Senate, the reconciliation bill then gets only 20 hours of debate and amendments are limited. Only one reconciliation bill can be passed in any given year.
Under the Fiscal Year 2010 budget resolution, the text of the reconciliation bill submitted to the Budget Committee had to have been reported by the relevant Committees by October 15, 2009. Therefore, the Democrats combined the text of America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 as reported out of the Ways and Means Committee, and as it was reported out of the Education and Labor Committee, and the text of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act as reported out of the Education and Labor Committee. This version was never meant to be passed, it was only created so that the reconciliation bill would comply with the Budget resolution. The bill was automatically amended to the version that was meant to be passed per the special rule that was reported out of the Rules Committee. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act was added to the Reconciliation Act as only one reconciliation bill can be passed each budget year, and it also faced a tough road through the Senate due to Republican filibuster and opposition from several centrist Democratic Senators. The move was also thought to give President Obama two key victories in overhauling the health care and student loan system. It also eventually became clear that the budget savings caused by the student loan bill would become essential to the overall reconciliation bill by reducing the deficit enough for the overall bill to qualify for the reconciliation process.
In the next part I will reference the SCOTUS ruling on the ACA showing why this bill was not found to be Constitutional. only the portion addressing the ability to fine (Tax) individuals while other Constitutional issues were ignored.