As for the prescription drug benefit? The prescription drug benefit didn't go through reconciliation. It was passed through the normal order.
Brooks is simply wrong on this.To recap, Brooks argued that reconciliation is being used more frequently, and that past reconciliation bills, like Bush's tax cuts and prescription drug benefit, were significantly bipartisan. Reconciliation is, in fact, being used less frequently, past reconciliation bills like the tax cuts were not significantly bipartisan by any stretch of the imagination, and the prescription drug benefit did not go through reconciliation.
Wow, I wonder if this column would have ever been published in anything like its current form if the New York Times had mandatory careful, thorough fact checking of columns by a well paid, well staffed, large, highly expert force. Of course, I guess that's too expensive for them to do and stay in business (or make their profits as large as possible). But what if it wasn't? Hmmm.