It has often been said that making laws is like making sausage: You’ll be much happier if you don’t see it happen. But the current health care bill has been exposed to unprecedented scrutiny from both sides and from the media. As Ezra Klein notes in the Washington Post:
So far in the health-care debate, Republicans have attacked the legitimacy of private negotiations, parochial dealmaking, the budget reconciliation process, self-executing rules, the Congressional Budget Office’s analyses, and even the constitutionality of the legislation. It’s a good theory: Make people hate Washington and mistrust the legislative process and you’ll make people hate and mistrust what emerges from that process.
But it’s also dangerous. As Republicans well know, private negotiations between lawmakers, deals that advantage a state or a district, and a base level of respect for the CBO’s scores have long been central to the lawmaking progress. As the parties have polarized, reconciliation and self-executing rules (like deem and pass) have become more common — and the GOP’s own record, which includes dozens of reconciliation bills and self-executing rules, proves it.