Schumer: Let’s Use Reconciliation Wherever We Can

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in an interview with The American Prospect, said he’s “always favored using reconciliation for the good parts” of the health care reform bill.

“We’ve looked at it and you can’t use reconciliation for everything, [but] you can use it for a good number of things,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with using it for the places where you can use it and then trying to get the 60 votes on the places where when you can’t. You’d be surprised — the number of places where you can use it is larger than we first thought.”

He declined to be more specific.

Schumer also said piece-by-piece reconciliation would strengthen the bill.

“I think that will get you the best bill, the strongest bill and the bill that will have the greatest positive effect on the American people. Ultimately, we’ll be judged not by whether we pass the bill, but ultimately we’ll be judged by whether it works,” he said.Schumer also said he doesn’t think much of the “trigger option,” under which a government-run insurance plan would become available only if insurance companies fail to lower rates and bend to other reforms.

“I personally don’t particularly like the trigger, particularly if its three years or four years down the road. It depends on how you set up the trigger, but [if] your measure is concentration in the insurance industry and the lack of competition as a result of that concentration — we’re there already,” he said.