Apples and Oranges
In a helpful post titled “Facts and Figures,” Ezra Klein observes:
This morning, Lamar Alexander said that reconciliation has never been used for anything as big as health-care reform. Health-care reform has a 10-year cost of about $950 billion. The Bush tax cuts, which passed through reconciliation, had a 10-year cost of about $1.8 trillion. Lamar Alexander voted for them.
Lacking a transcript of the discussion, I can only speculate as to what Alexander meant by “big” here. But one could reasonably argue that a major overhaul in how the country runs its health care system is “bigger” than an accounting move to let people keep more of their owned damned money, irrespective of the fiscal impact of the two measures.
I’m insufficiently informed on the history of the reconciliation process to otherwise evaluate Alexander’s claim.