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When Bad Policy Makes Good PoliticsRunning the Numbers on Health Reform$
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Robert P. Saldin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190255435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190255435.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 September 2021

CLASS on Capitol Hill, Part 2

CLASS on Capitol Hill, Part 2

A Bipartisan Backlash and the Missing “Fixes”

(p.88) 6 CLASS on Capitol Hill, Part 2
When Bad Policy Makes Good Politics

Robert P. Saldin

Oxford University Press

This chapter follows CLASS through the later stages of the 2009–2010 health reform process. When Senate Democrats began arguing that including CLASS in health reform would be fiscally irresponsible, CLASS supporters were forced to draft “fixes” to shore up their program. It was expected that these important alterations would be added during the final phase of the lawmaking process. But a surprise result in a special election to fill the Senate seat of Ted Kennedy forced Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass health reform. That path left all final changes subject to the Byrd Rule. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that a watered down version of the CLASS fixes failed to satisfy the Byrd Rule. As a result, the unaltered and unworkable version of CLASS became law. This conclusion to the policymaking process left CLASS in a precarious and ultimately untenable position when the Department of Health and Human Services attempted to implement the program.

Keywords:   health reform, Affordable Care Act, Harry Reid, reconciliation, Byrd Rule, parliamentarian

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