NO NEED TO PASS HEALTH CARE THROUGH RECONCILIATION…. If I understand the Republican talking points, which many in the media have already bought into, it’s that health care reform is too “big” an issue to be passed through reconciliation.

Some of the slightly-less ridiculous conservative voices will concede that Republicans used reconciliation repeatedly when they were in the majority, but, they quickly add, this is different. Health care is health care. Something so sweeping shouldn’t be approved by majority rule.

Let’s clear up something really important here, because the political world seems to have forgotten.

No one’s talking about passing health care reform through reconciliation. There’s no need to pass health care reform through reconciliation — health care reform has already passed.

You might remember December. The Senate had a very long debate, followed by a Republican filibuster. There was a vote to end that filibuster, which was successful. And on Christmas Eve, senators registered a vote, and health care reform passed, 60 to 39.

No tricks, no reconciliation, no abuses. Just a debate, followed by an unsuccessful filibuster, followed by a vote.

The next step isn’t passing health care reform through reconciliation; the next step is passing a budget fix that improves the legislation that’s already passed. That, of course, is why reconciliation exists.

The entire GOP talking point is based on a fallacy. If the Democratic plan proceeds, it would not be approving health care reform through reconciliation. That would be pointless — health care reform already passed without reconciliation.

Tell your friends.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.