Sellout Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) got his Cash-for-Cloture Christmas present early: Special Medicaid expansion subsidies for his state ($45 million for starters over the next decade). The budget-strapped governors of every other state in the union ought to be crying foul.
*Update: CBO now says Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback will cost $100 million for Nebraska. Vermont and Massachusetts will also benefit from similar deals. Combined, the three-state kickback will cost taxpayers $1.2 billion over 10 years.*
Despite his protestations and rationalizations, government abortion funding remains in the bill.
FYI: The Senate plan also still allows for government coverage of illegal aliens.
We are all Joe Wilsons now.
President Obama, September 9, 2009:
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions…
Time is of the essence. Here’s the rundown of the next 24 hours:
“Following the remarks of Senator Coburn, the Senate will adjourn until 1:00pm Sunday, December 20. Following the prayer and pledge, the time until 1:30pm will be equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. Beginning at 1:30pm and until 11:30pm, there will be alternating blocks of time, with the Republicans controlling the first hour and the Majority controlling the next hour.
At 11:30pm (Sunday), the Senate will recess until 12:01am Monday, December 21. Following the prayer and pledge, the time until 1:00am will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the Majority Leader controlling the final 10 minutes and the Republican Leader controlling the 10 minutes immediately prior.
At 1:00AM Monday, December 21, the Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on the Reid-Baucus-Dodd-Harkin amendment #2376.”
Did Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy (or lack thereof) fail? RedState thinks so.
But it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
The rest of us must continue to raise our voices, too, and fight to the end.
The corruption of the deliberative process over Demcare gives complete lie to the pretense that government can run health care in a non-corruptible way. Must-read big picture essay from Doctor Zero: “The illusion of design.” An excerpt:
Liberals insist it is simply unthinkable to allow financial considerations to impact the distribution of this essential human right. As Kirsten Powers put it recently, “Americans will die if we don’t provide universal health insurance.” Because money is the instrument through which free people express their will and make choices, the argument for socialized medicine boils down to the superiority of design and control over competition and choice.
So, in summary, the case for nationalizing health insurance is that health care cannot be entrusted to the unpredictability and greed of the free market. The individual purchasing decisions of free men and women are too chaotic. The only way to ensure access to health care for everyone is for the State to install a massive, strictly enforced system, complete with huge fines and jail time for those who fail to comply. This system would be superior to the free market, because it would be carefully designed by brilliant minds… engineered to deliver an incredibly complex, ever-changing service to hundreds of millions of Americans.
Is anyone stupid enough to think a “carefully designed system” is what the Democrats are about to drop on us?
Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) held up the Senate reform bill over his heartfelt concerns over abortion funding… until he was bought off with hundreds of millions of dollars in enhanced funding for Medicaid in his state. In a similar vein, language worth over $100 million was added to the bill, targeting the state of Louisiana, to purchase the vote of “moderate” Democrat Mary Landrieu. In other words, this “carefully designed” health care bill has different rules for people who happen to live in Nebraska or Louisiana, because this was necessary to buy the votes of their senators.
The Congressional Budget Office scoring for the health care reform bill is based on tricks and gimmicks, including Medicare reductions and cuts of over 20% in physician payments, that no one seriously believes will actually happen. A great deal of this health care reform package is a delusional fantasy, if not an outright fraud.
Socialist senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont jammed a 767-page amendment into the bill, then violated Senate procedures to suddenly withdraw it when Republicans forced the entire amendment to be read on the Senate floor.
Far from being a brilliant plan constructed by top doctors and financial experts in a government brain trust, this health-care bill is a twisted, deformed political document, seen in its entirety by only a few high-ranking politicians belonging to a single political party. Its components have not been precisely crafted as part of a fantastic system calibrated to ensure the maximum access to quality health care for all Americans.
The bill is not being examined with transparency and careful deliberation by representatives who behave as humble servants of the people and their Constitution. Instead, it’s being hastily rammed through in the dead of night, over the objection of powerful majorities of the American people, with desperate last-minute deals cut to acquire the necessary votes, financed by vast sums of taxpayer money. The primary consideration is not crafting the most sophisticated and intelligent health care reform… it’s getting a bill pushed through before angry voters have a chance to blast the Democrats out of Congress.