See: The House Health-Care Vote and the Constitution
Under her proposal, Democrats would pass a rule that deems the Senate's health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on the bill. This would enable Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill without facing a Senate filibuster, and without requiring House members to vote in favor of a Senate bill that is now politically toxic.
Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution may pose a problem for the Democrats, but since the Health-care bill is an “all the marbles” play for them, I think that they would be willing to risk a constitutional chalenge, thinking that if in the off chance the court rules in their favor, they will own the whole of the Republic outright.
Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto
All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
M. Connell explains in the Wall Street Journal Article cited above:
As the Supreme Court wrote in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), a bill containing the "exact text" must be approved by one house; the other house must approve "precisely the same text."
Again, I think that the Democrats may be willing to gamble that the present makeup of the Supreme Court could possibly rule in their favor.
If they lose, its back to the status quo with a loss of a few seats in congress. The voting publics notoriously short memory will help them regain the lost seats in a few election cycles. No real penalty will be paid.
However, if they were to win at the Supreme Court, they will have made everyone in the Republic dependent on them for their health-care.
Lose a little versus win the whole damn enchilada.
(See also: Slaughter Solution Unconstitutional)