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Killing Obamacare’s Individual Mandate: We Now Need 51 Votes In The Senate, Not 60

Written By : John Hawkins
June 29, 2012

Today, Matt Lewis over at the Daily Caller pointed out an Obamacare angle that hadn’t yet occurred to me.

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Before the Supreme Court ruling, repealing Obamacare would have taken a majority in the House, the presidency, and 60 votes in the Senate to get past a Democratic filibuster. However, after the Supreme Court ruling, those numbers have changed.

So the ObamaCare individual mandate stands — as a tax. Interestingly, that makes it vulnerable to a senate procedure known as “reconciliation,” whereby Republicans can repeal the tax without the standard 60 votes (thus, bypassing the filibuster.)

As such, if the GOP takes control of the Senate and regains the White House next year, ObamaCare could be swiftly repealed.

…Back in 2010, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid sent Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a missive detailing his plans to use reconciliation to pass ObamaCare: “We will [pass the legislation], Reid wrote, … [W]e plan to use the regular budget reconciliation process that the Republican caucus has used many times.” (That was the nicer version of Reid’s language. He also told Republicans to “stop crying over reconciliation.”)

The Democrats were perfectly willing to expand the usage of the reconciliation process to pass Obamacare. So I see no reason in the world why Republicans shouldn’t use it to rip the guts out of it using the same process. Since the individual mandate has now been ruled a tax, the reconciliation process can be used to kill it and Republicans should do just that if they can muster 51 Republicans in the Senate.

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