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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Can Republicans kill Obamacare in 2012? Yes, We Can.

Or so posits Karl Rove.  Despite the fact that the GOP is unlikely to get to 60 votes in the Senate, where there’s a will, there’s a way:

The Budget Act of 1974 established the reconciliation process. The House and Senate Budget Committees can direct other committees to make changes in mandatory spending (like ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies) and the tax code (such as ObamaCare’s levies on insurance policies, hospitals and drug companies) to make spending and revenue conform with the goals set by the annual budget resolution.

For example, under reconciliation the Senate Budget Committee could instruct the Senate Finance Committee to reduce mandatory spending on insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion. These two items make up more than 90% of spending in ObamaCare. All the changes from all the committees are then bundled into one measure and voted upon. Because reconciliation is protected by the rules of the budget process, it doesn’t take 60 votes to bring it up and it requires only a simple majority to pass.

Will this 51-vote strategy work? One long-time GOP budget whiz, embarrassed he hadn’t thought of this, told me it would.

The Democrats were prepared to use reconciliation to shove it down our throats, and so should we be with repeal.

But: there’s still that small matter of taking the White House…

(The year should really be 2013, but who’s counting?)

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