|And yes, the video is not made up, Senator Byrd did counsel President Clinton against using reconciliation to pass health care reform, claiming the reforms were far too massive for that process.
But there is a huge difference that our conservative friends are overlooking, Senator Byrd stopped President Clinton from using reconciliation to pass the entire health care package. That is, in no conceivable way, the same thing we are talking about today.
Today we are talking about having a massive health care reform bill passed in both the House and Senate (assuming the House passes it, and I absolutely agree with David Waldman that they should pass the fixes first but that is a subject for a different post). Reconciliation will only be used for small fixes. This is a completely different situation.
There is no shred of merit to claims that Sen Byrd's statement means anything in regards to the situation we find ourselves in today.
UPDATE: Oh, and thanks go out to zenbassoon for reminding me that Sen Byrd has openly stated that the proposed use of reconciliation is acceptable.