Sunday, December 20, 2009

Payoffs To The States - How Harry Reid Got His 60 Votes With Your Money

Chris Frates over at the Politico outlines some of the bribes Harry Reid used to push ObamaCare through:

Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback,” as the GOP is calling it, got all the attention Saturday, but other senators lined up for deals as Majority Leader Harry Reid corralled the last few votes for a health reform package.

Nelson’s might be the most blatant – a deal carved out for a single state, a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion for Nebraska, meaning federal taxpayers have to kick in an additional $45 million in the first decade.

But another Democratic holdout, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), took credit for $10 billion in new funding for community health centers, while denying it was a “sweetheart deal.” He was clearly more enthusiastic about a bill he said he couldn’t support just three days ago.

Nelson and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) carved out an exemption for non-profit insurers in their states from a hefty excise tax. Similar insurers in the other 48 states will pay the tax.

Vermont and Massachusetts were given additional Medicaid funding, another plus for Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Three states – Pennsylvania, New York and Florida – all won protections for their Medicare Advantage beneficiaries at a time when the program is facing cuts nationwide.

All of this came on top of a $300 million increase for Medicaid in Louisiana, designed to win the vote of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

{...}It was Nelson who proved that he who plays hardest to get, gets the most.

Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming had the right of it, accusing the Democrats of favoring Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida at the expense of seniors in other parts of the country:

“The Democrats are playing ‘Let’s make a deal’ with trillions of your hard-earned tax dollars. You and all the American people should know that the majority leader is buying his votes with your money,” said Enzi (R-Wyo.) “The Reid bill gives sweetheart deals to a few states and the rest of the country will foot the bill.

I forget which Senator it was (Bob Corker?Saxby Chambliss?) who said that ObamaCare is essentially the about the coasts colonizing the heartland. He was exactly right.

"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
- George Orwell, Animal Farm.


Anonymous said...

I read this, & I miss Gerald Ford more than ever : he knew how to steadfastly confront Congress with his trusty, red-hot veto-pen. I wish I had a time machine. --dragon/dinosaur

Anonymous said...

Enzi is from Wyoming!

And if you're going to be consistent, why not renounce: Israel's 100% taxpayer sponsored health care system; Social Security; Medicare; Medicaid; all taxpayer supported, and while you're not at it, the provable fact that Pres. Nixon openly advocated for universal health care -- which isn't even on the table anymore.

What ever happened to progressive republicanism? No wonder more and more republicans are identifying themselves as independents.

These days you either have to be a Christian evangelical or tea-bagger to fit in the modern republican party.

Louis Arroyo

Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks, Louis for the polite and considerate correction. I sometimes get Senators Enzi and Crappo mixed up on occasion.

I wouldn't bring up Israel if I were you. For one thing, you obviously know nothing about how Israel orders its health care, their situation is totally different than ours and it's the sign of a true obsessive to bring Israel into a conversation out of the blue...which kinda makes me think you might just not be one of Israel's biggest fans. You could just as easily said Switzerland.

Let me show you how easily off the wall off topic comparisons like that work. In Israel,( and in Switzerland, for that matter) people routinely keep fully automatic assault weapons in their homes,yet their murder rate per capita is a fraction of ours.

Yet I doubt a fine, upstanding neo-Marxist Obamabot progressive like yourself would advocate we do that here, even though it obviously works.

And speaking of what works, let's take a gander at these fine, well managed government-run programs you're so proud of.

Every one of them is a financial disaster teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and raped by rampant fraud. MediCare is scheduled to be totally bankrupt by 2017, and Social Security, a scheme Charles Ponzi would have salivated over, is supposed to be bankrupt by 2015.

Actually, if you look at the mechanics, it's already bankrupt. In one of the few good ideas he had as president, George W, Bush wanted to gradually allow a certain amount of privatization, but as you know the Donkeys in Congress refused to even consider it.

I also found your views on'progressive Republicaniam ( whatever that is) quite enjoyable.
I'm positive that you've never voted for anyone with an 'R' after his name in your life (assuming you vote), but I can easily turn that around - what ever happened to conservative, patriotic, fiscally prudent,sane Democrats?

The answer is that almost all of them ended up voting fo rth eGOP most of the time.

To turn your ending remarks around, these days you'd have to be an ObamaBot ignorant of how badly socialism has failed throughout history to be a Democrat.

Thanks for playing...


Rosey said...

The public option has worked out pretty well in Japan. It least it did when I was young and healthy. But of course it is bankrupt. Most "Hospitals" look like something from the twilight zone. And government workers actually work over there. So, I guess I'm saying it works kinda, sorta, but won't work here.