The list of payoffs that got Reid his cloture vote

posted at 12:15 pm on December 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Recall the moments in 2008 when Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama campaigned on the platform of — must … control … gag … reflex — “Honest Leadership, Open Government”?  This picture should jog your memories, and your own gag reflexes, especially that sanctimonious pose by Reid.  The trio have managed to make themselves either satirists of the highest order or influence peddlers of the lowest while struggling to pass the second item on their legislative agenda.  Politico’s Josh Gerstein reviews the ObamaCare compromise bill that Reid struggled to get past a wee-hours cloture vote in the middle of a blizzard in the Beltway.  It’s an amazing list of pork and bribes, even for an old pro like Reid:

The multimillion-dollar deals cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and others to win the 60 votes needed for the historic health care reform bill gave President Barack Obama the margin he needed to fulfill a central campaign promise — but may also have upped the ante for future presidential horse trading.

With the bill hanging in the balance, Nelson won a provision exempting his state from paying the usual share of costs for new Medicaid patients. The deal critics have dubbed the Cornhusker Kickback is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.

Before a close vote last month, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) won an even larger break for her state — an estimated $300 million in extra federal spending, in a move opponents derided as the Louisiana Purchase.

Some critics branded the special deals as functionally equivalent to the kind of earmarks Obama crusaded against as a senator — and a quantum leap from eleventh-hour deals Obama’s predecessors have cut.

Let’s take a look at the list itself, which goes far beyond Nelson and Landrieu, the pair that IBD Editorials calls “the Louisiana Purchase and Omaha Stakes”:

Ø      The bill contains unfunded mandates to states through the expansion of Medicaid but this time with new special treatment for the states of Nebraska, Vermont, and Massachusetts. These states will receive Federal Matching Assistance Percentages (FMAP) bonuses such that:

  1. Nebraska will receive 100% FMAP for newly eligibles indefinitely, making it the only state where the federal government will pay for all new enrollees. CBO estimated the cost to the federal government (additional funds to Nebraska) would be $100 million, which may look small compared to the other deals negotiated, yet over the long-term will cost far more, since funding continues indefinitely.
  2. Vermont will receive a 2.2% FMAP increase for 6 years for their entire program, thus receiving an additional $600 million over ten years.
  3. Massachusetts will receive a 0.5% FMAP increase for three years for the entire program, thus receiving an additional $500 million over ten years.
  • Despite $120 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts, the Manager’s Amendment found a way for Florida residents, as well as some individuals in Pennsylvania and New York, and potentially Oregon, to be grandfathered out of receiving the cuts.
  • Dorgan and Conrad’s “protections for frontier states” provision would, starting in 2011, establish a 1.0 hospital wage index and geographic practice expense floors for hospitals and physicians located in states where at least 50% of the counties in the state are “frontier”. Not surprisingly, states that qualify and benefit from the provision are Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Of the many problems with these “sweetheart” deals, is the door it leaves wide open for more federal involvement and financing of state-based entitlement programs. Sen. Harkin said it best when he stated “In 2017, as you know, when we have to start phasing back from 100%, and going down to 98%, they are going to say, ’Wait, there is one state that stays at 100?’ And every governor in the country is going to say, ‘Why doesn’t our state stay there?’…When you look at it, I thought well, god, good, it is going to be the impetus for all the states to stay at 100%. So he [Nelson] might have done all of us a favor.”

Changes for Sen. Ben Nelson (Nebraska)

  • Nelson secured more than just 100% federal funding for Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion, the list of “sweeteners” (also called the “Cornhusker kickback” by Senate Republicans) includes:
    • An exemption from the insurance tax for Nebraska non-profit insurers, with language written in a way that only applies to Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans (BCBS) of Nebraska (and Michigan). According to news reports, Nelson’s office states that BCBS “would pay between $15 million and $20 million less in fees under the Senate bill than it would have without a change.”
    • An exemption from taxes for Medicare supplemental (“Medigap”) insurance providers.  Specifically, Mutual of Omaha, will not have to pay taxes on Medigap insurance, while reports also indicate that this tax break will be extended to other companies.
    • Some changes requested by Nelson would benefit people across the country, such as the inflation adjustment to the $2,500 cap on tax-exempt contributions to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) and exemptions for nearly 55 physician-owned hospitals that have a provider agreement to participate in Medicare by August 1, 2010 (pushed back from February 1, 2010).

Changes for Sen. Levin (Michigan)

  • According to reports, Like Nelson, Levin sought an exemption from the $6 billion annual fee for non-profits, as non-profit insurers make up 76% of industry profits, but drew opposition from liberals. Ultimately, Levin got an exemption from the insurance tax for Michigan non-profit insurers, with language written in a way that applies to Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans (BCBS) of Michigan (and Nebraska).
  • Furthermore, the amendment changes the extension of section 508 hospital provisions so that hospitals in Michigan (as well as Connecticut) have the option to benefit under them if it means higher payments.

Changes for Sen. Landrieu (Louisiana):

  • Landrieu was one of the first Senators to secure a sweetheart deal, aptly nicknamed the “Louisiana Purchase”; she traded her support for bringing the bill to the floor for a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for Louisiana. The underlying bill was cryptically written to increase federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster” during the past 7 years that have been declared a “major disaster area” — and is meant to replenish the decrease in federal money resulting from an “abnormally inflated” per capita income in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. This was due to an influx of insurance dollars, federal grants and increased labor wages.

Changes for Sen. Sanders (Vermont):

  • In addition the Vermont FMAP increase, the amendment includes a provision pushed by Sanders to provide an additional $10 billion in funding for community health centers and the National Health Services Corps which he argues would provide primary care to 25 million more people.

Changes for Sen. Bill Nelson (Florida)

Ø      As noted above, Nelson was able to secure a deal to keep Medicare Advantage plans enrollees in Florida grandfathered in. Notably, when McCain tried to offer an amendment to allow all enrollees to be grandfathered in, 57 Democrats voted against it.

Changes for Hawaii: The Manager’s Amendment singles out Hawaii as the only state to receive a Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) extension.

Changes for Sen. Lieberman (Connecticut): It amends the extension of section 508 hospital provisions so that hospitals in Connecticut (as well as Michigan) have the option to benefit under them if it means higher payments.

Changes for Sen. Dodd (Connecticut): It was a mystery until just revealed that Chris Dodd’s state will benefit from a cryptically awarded $100 million for a “Health Care Facility” at a public research university that contains a state’s sole public academic medical and dental school—criteria designed to apply to the University of Connecticut.

Changes for Sen. Baucus (Montana):

Ø      Baucus secured a pilot program in the amendment to “provide innovative approaches to furnishing comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective care” to certain qualified individuals. A qualified individual “is an environmental exposure affected individual…who resides in or around the geographic area subject to an emergency declaration made as of June 17, 2009.” And who might these select few individuals be? Well, according to EPA, “On June 17, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a Public Health Emergency (PHE) finding at the Libby Asbestos Superfund site in northwest Montana.” This provision would help residents of Libby by allowing them to sign up for Medicare benefits.

It seems to me that if ObamaCare really reformed the process, we wouldn’t need all of these exceptions to its rules.  After all, it’s supposed to “bend the cost curve downward” for everyone.  If it does that, then why does Hawaii need a DSH extension?  Why does Connecticut need exemptions for its hospitals and a $100 million grant, if we’re leveling the playing field?

This list shows why Congress wants to pass this overhaul.  They want the ability to demand these favors not just now, but forever.  When government controls the system, then the politicians control the spoils.  This list is just the appetizers.  They’ll be chowing down on pork banquets for decades if this passes into law, and doing it just as dishonestly as this process has been handled all along.


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Keep the Change TM

mankai on December 22, 2009 at 12:15 PM

*shakes head*

Disgusting.

Fish on December 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Even though the bill is being propped up by a rickety and wobbly toothpick structure, I still feel it will withstand the blowtorch of reconciliation.

Really, it will.

jeff_from_mpls on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

The only way things will change is if it all craters….hopefully soon.

PatriotRider on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Most of those were Dem senators who were going to vote for cloture anyway. They just got their buddy Harry to toss them some goodies for old times sake.

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

You want to know what is really bad with all of this? Katie Couric was on the news last night saying pretty much the same as the above and everyone was saying it was OK because Bush started it with Medicare.

Johnnyreb on December 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

jeff_from_mpls on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

It’s going to get worse in reconciliation. The public option will be back. Guaranteed.

lorien1973 on December 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

I don’t think they’re smart enough to realize what they could get….

deidre on December 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM

National Socialist Democrat bribing themselves with money from our great-great-grandchildren – terrific!

Fake8 on December 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM

In conference committee, everyone will want the same pork, and the CBO scoring will be interesting to see. Wonder if they can hide it in accounting gimmicks again.

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!
Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

They didn’t want to lose the Kosher vote.

Bishop on December 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM

When a government starts picking winners and losers, eventually the losers are to take it out on the “winners”.

This is recipe for further polarization of this country.

WashJeff on December 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Wait – so my parents lose Medicare Advantage because they live in Illinois but my In-Laws get to keep Medicare Advantage because they moved to Florida? Is that right?

Ted Torgerson on December 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM

I feel sick.

NickelAndDime on December 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Time to start investing in “Over 55 Communities” in certain states, eh?

…and the market reacts!

NickelAndDime on December 22, 2009 at 12:24 PM

The Great Whore, Judas Iscariot Nelson had better stay away from home for a long, long time.

OmahaConservative on December 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM

What does this say about Harry Reid’s credibility with his flock, when he has to put the payola actually IN the very bill he’s paying for?

The word “unprecedented” gets tossed around an awful lot lately. But this definitely qualifies. These guys are going for broke — in every possible sense of the word.

logis on December 22, 2009 at 12:27 PM

The photo of them standing there and the sign on the podium…

“Open For Sale”

Trusser13 on December 22, 2009 at 12:27 PM

It’s going to get worse in reconciliation. The public option will be back. Guaranteed.

lorien1973 on December 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

And when the public option is written back in, another 50 congressMEN will withdraw their support.

And when pro-life requirements are disrespected, another 40 Real Americans will bid adieu.

jeff_from_mpls on December 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM

The Great Whore, Judas Iscariot Nelson had better stay away from home for a long, long time.

OmahaConservative on December 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM

He is being quoted at Fox saying he is not going to take the special deal now. He is also claiming 3 other senators came up and told him they are going to demand their fair share of pork also. This whole thing is going to implode.

Johnnyreb on December 22, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Comrades, like spaghetti, money grows on trees so none of this matters.

patrick neid on December 22, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Bizarro-World.

“By The People, For The People…”

Not any more. The Government has ‘gone rogue’. sheesh…

rockbend on December 22, 2009 at 12:30 PM

They can tempt their members with money.

We have something money can’t buy: a clear conscience.

It’s worth more than all the gold in the world.

THAT’s what we have to offer.

jeff_from_mpls on December 22, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Comrades, like spaghetti, money grows on trees so none of this matters.
patrick neid on December 22, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Wake me when I can dig a well for scotch.

Bishop on December 22, 2009 at 12:32 PM

I even more believe the verse in the Bible that states “money is the root of all evil.” It’s so true.

deidre on December 22, 2009 at 12:32 PM

The smell of sulphur gets stronger with each new scandal.

fourdeucer on December 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Is bribery now legal?

Johan Klaus on December 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM

I wonder what benefits Senators Dumb and Dumber from Washington secured for me?

munseym on December 22, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Open rampant corruption. Its disgusting. Any state that can recall these bastards should do so.

dogsoldier on December 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Does Nelson think this is supposed to make him look more acceptable?

“But Mommy, Ben did it. Why can’t I?”

My kids knew better than to try this with me.

drjohn on December 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Nelson is getting a dose of the ass and he whines about it:
http://www.omaha.com

bloviator on December 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

“I went down to the Crossroads…fell down on my knees…”

pugwriter on December 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

The list of payoffs (that we know about) that got Reid his cloture vote.

Fixed the title for ya’, Ed.

thirteen28 on December 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

What does this say about Harry Reid’s credibility with his flock, when he has to put the payola actually IN the very bill he’s we are paying for?

logis on December 22, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Johan Klaus on December 22, 2009 at 12:37 PM

McConnell spoke out on the Senate floor reinforcing Reid’s comments. Eric Cantor the Republican whip in the house said he was “disappointed”. “Disappointed”?!

Our guys don’t have a clue and are wimps to boot. This situation calls for guerilla warfare and our guys are agreeing with Reid that they all just need to “get along”. Geeesh!

ncjetsfan on December 22, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Libs in Bonus Baby States to NYers after the bill passes the Senate on Christmas Eve…

“It’s a poor excuse to pick a state’s pockets, but you may have Summer Solstice Festival Day off, but be in all the earlier the day after! Get to work!”

mankai on December 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Is bribery now legal?

Johan Klaus on December 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM

It’s not what it is, it’s what you call it.

This is called effective politicking. If you and I had done the same thing, it’s called bribery.

But no matter the semantics, it’s still a quid pro qou, and simply counter to the American ideal.

No matter what Allahpundit says about “…re-dress of greivances..”.

BobMbx on December 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

grr

thirteen28 on December 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I wonder what Dick”head” Durban brought home for my state. Oh, that’s right; he’s one of the kool-aid mixers and pourers in Obamas cadre.

Big John on December 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Using OUR money to buy votes to steal our money and liberty. Criminal Poetry.

marklmail on December 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I sure wish they would just publish their price lists so we could buy us some congressmen too. Them darn things sure do come in handy.

GnuBreed on December 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I wonder what Dick”head” Durban brought home for my state. Oh, that’s right; he’s one of the kool-aid mixers and pourers in Obamas cadre.

Big John on December 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

GITMO

WashJeff on December 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Big John on December 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

You got 200 terrorists. You’re welcome.

Ted Torgerson on December 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

The president and 535 members of congress need to be removed from office.

Grand Juries need to be called for all of them.

I’d guess they would return roughly 280-300 indictments, including the president and roughly 60-65 senators.

After the trials and at least 281 convictions, the prison in Illinois intended for the Gitmo prisoners can be “repurposed.”

Osama Obama might be able to “see Chicago” from his cell.

MrScribbler on December 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

I wonder what Dick”head” Durban brought home for my state. Oh, that’s right; he’s one of the kool-aid mixers and pourers in Obamas cadre.

Big John on December 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

We got the Gitmo prisoners, did you forget?

Knucklehead on December 22, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Seems as if the rest of the senators wnat their piece of the pork now! This is getting better and better everyday!
http://tinyurl.com/ygw5xyj

xler8bmw on December 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM

1.0 hospital wage index and geographic practice expense floors for hospitals and physicians located in states where at least 50% of the counties in the state are “frontier”.

Someone please explain this to me.

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Folks If you are not listening to Rush Limbaugh then you need to be. Man that guy is spot on.

Dire Straits on December 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM

NELSON
Why are we the prophets? Why are we the ones?
Who see the sad solution, Know what must be done?
I have no thought at all, Of my own reward
I really didn’t come here of my own accord
Just don’t say I’ve damned America for all time!

REID
Cut the protesting, Forget the excuses
We want your vote, Get out on the floor

DURBIN
We have the amendments, We need to get moving
You know the payoff, We know the law

REID
Your help in this matter, Won’t go unrewarded
We’ll pay you in silver, Cash on the nail
We just need to know, When your vote will be counted
With no huskers ’round you, Then we can’t fail

NELSON
I don’t need your blood money

DURBIN
Oh, that doesn’t matter, Our expenses are good

NELSON
I don’t want your blood money

REID
But you might as well take it, We think that you should
Think of the things, You can do with that money
Choose any charity, Give to ACORN
We’ve noted your motives, We’ve noted your feelings
This isn’t blood money, It’s a fee nothing more…

mankai on December 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Judas Iscariot Nelson should be indicted for racketeering.

OmahaConservative on December 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM

This whole thing is going to implode.

Johnnyreb on December 22, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Does it really matter? Reid got Nelson’s vote and that was all he wanted. I’m certainly not disagreeing with you, and I hope you’re right. It’s just a little bit late for Nelson to change his mind now.

Dopenstrange on December 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM

mankai on December 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Jesus Christ Superstar? And I recall when it came it that it was an issue if it was “disrespectful” to Christianity.

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM

MrScribbler on December 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Spot-on, brother, spot-on…

Dopenstrange on December 22, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Folks If you are not listening to Rush Limbaugh then you need to be. Man that guy is spot on.

Dire Straits on December 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM

+1

OmahaConservative on December 22, 2009 at 12:52 PM

GnuBreed on December 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham used to do that with lobbyists. He is now a guest of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Someone let me off this train so I can go take care of a few people who are making this train unsafe!

upinak on December 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Seems as if the rest of the senators wnat their piece of the pork now! This is getting better and better everyday!
http://tinyurl.com/ygw5xyj

xler8bmw on December 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM

According to Enoxo on another thread, they cannot add anything in conference committee that was not in either original bill. Which means presumably they would have to start over with new bills (unlikely) or would have to tack on health care pork to unrelate bills (more likely, as well as more publicly embaressing).

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Because there is absolutely no doubt that they’ll both enthusiastically back anything that rolls out of Harry Reids a$$.

BigWyo on December 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Rather… and has no resurrection… but the music is excellent. I have an expurgated version of the soundtrack myself (some songs I just can’t listen to, even though I know it’s just a stage adaptation).

But “Blood Money” (used above) has Judas, Caiaphas and Annas… so I’m not terribly offended.

mankai on December 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Where the hell is T-Paw on this?

He’s running for the BIg Chair, so why not use this opportunity to shame these two chumps into bringing home some bacon?

Bruno Strozek on December 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Wethal on December 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Absolutely correct but, Nelson may strip his payoff therefore no vote.

xler8bmw on December 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Meanwhile, I’m wondering why the two stupid cows (Murray and Cantwell) from Washington State, didn’t get in on the special deals. :(

franksalterego on December 22, 2009 at 1:03 PM

And how many articles have we read about rampant corruption in Russia?

The way the Dems are setting things up is just like the USSR…. massive corruption, oligarchs, political elites and the rest of those people who foot the bill. If one doesn’t comply, it’s jail time, possibly forever.

Disgusting, so much so that it makes one want to puke.

Cody1991 on December 22, 2009 at 1:03 PM

As a tax payer, and citizens of this nation, not to mention the promises that were made, we demand that this bill be killed. Start over. Reform is good, but not THIS reform.

KILL THIS FREAKIN BILL!!!

capejasmine on December 22, 2009 at 1:04 PM

A qualified individual “is an environmental exposure affected individual…who resides in or around the geographic area subject to an emergency declaration made as of June 17, 2009.”

Wow. Just wow. These Dems are so arrogant that this kind of blatant obfuscation doesn’t even seem to phase them. They must think Americans are idiots.

KS Rex on December 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM

As a retired resident of Florida, what Senator Nelson agreed to for his vote will help me. However, SHAME ON YOU SENATOR! What you did in the name of Florida is bad for the country, as is the entire travesty called health care reform! Kill the bill Senator, or go down in history as an enabler of putting this Republic on a fast track to socialism!

GFW on December 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Until states start stepping to the plate demanding that the 10th Amendment be recognized, they’re all just owned and operated by the Federal Government anyway. So these “state benefits” are practically meaningless to the states receiving the benefits.

Red Cloud on December 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM

How come Klobuchar and Franken can’t get us some tasty pork, too? Slackers!

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

This is what keeps Conrad & Dorgan in power in ND, even though the popluation is very conservative.
N. Dakotans like their pork when these guys serve it up to them.

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 1:09 PM

They must think Americans are idiots.

KS Rex on December 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM

A lot of them have shown themselves to be. Apathy is a killer.

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Looks like Payola is no longer a Federal crime.

Fletch54 on December 22, 2009 at 1:13 PM

While we’re at it, Ed, how about a comment on the AMA bribe, too?

The American Medical Association announced its endorsement after Reid made some last-minute changes to please the doctors. A 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery procedures was replaced with a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services; a proposed fee on physicians to enroll in Medicare was dropped; and payment cuts to specialty and other physicians to pay for bonuses to primary care doctors in underserved areas were also eliminated, said the AMA’s president-elect, Dr. Cecil B. Wilson.

I cannot wrap my mind around this banana republic way of doing business.

Ed Snyder on December 22, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Wow. Anyone listening to Rush? He’s got a caller on the line who is a small business owner advocating that small business owners shut down – completely – and refuse to participate, flood the unemployment offices with applicants and refuse to rehire until Congress cancels this $hit bill.

Interesting.

Cody1991 on December 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Well, from the looks of it, my Democrat Senator, from Missouri is a cheap whore. She voted for this POS bill without getting any changes made for our state. She was on the record as saying that she would not vote for it unless things were changed. I guess the changes made were okay by her.

Torch on December 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

My two dopey senators here in California are so inept and desperate for a deal for their BFF Obama that they did not try to negotiate anything for their seniors.
Boxer sure worked hard against newborns however.

FireBlogger on December 22, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Despite $120 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts, the Manager’s Amendment found a way for Florida residents, as well as some individuals in Pennsylvania and New York, and potentially Oregon, to be grandfathered out of receiving the cuts.

I’ve got to check out that Amendment. Me wants my piece of the pie. Probably only get a Climate Change Conference Program autographed by Ogabe.

fogw on December 22, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Either get your pitchforks and head for Washington, or cut off the money.

These marxists only understand 2 things. No money for their entitlements so they come crawling to US. Or millions of the unwashed at the door telling them to get out, that they are being replaced.

Nothing else has worked. It is time to move on to the next step.

patriotparty1 on December 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Pathetic.

trigon on December 22, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Pathetic.

trigon on December 22, 2009 at 1:23 PM

+1

cmsinaz on December 22, 2009 at 1:27 PM

I understand that the final compromise might not be constitutional. Lindsey Graham is having the SC state’s attorney general look at the dealmaking that sealed the final compromise. If put to test, would the Supreme Court allow this bill? I am not sure that even the liberal Justices would be able to stomach this mess. How can a Justices talk about equal protection, if you allow people to be treated differently depending on who their Senator is.

Also a lot of Democrat senators did not get any goodies. The question is will those senators vote for a final bill that makes them look like a sap back home.

I would not be surprised the find the goodies for Neb. and La. taken out if their votes are not longer needed.

jeannie on December 22, 2009 at 1:28 PM

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan

faol on December 22, 2009 at 1:28 PM

From my Representative, Cathy McMorris-Rogers:

Your views are very important to me. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. It’s a pleasure and honor to serve you in Congress.

1. MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE
I work for you. What is the most important issue you would like me to address in Congress?

My response:

Yes,

Would you please walk over the the Senate side, and inquire of the two esteemed Senators from Washington State (Murray & Cantwell,) why we, the people of Washington State, were left out of the deal-making and bribery for their votes on Health Care?.. And, why 38 or so states have to subsidize the 12 or so states that did?

That is, of course, if you can get past the smell.

franksalterego on December 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Where the hell is T-Paw on this?

He’s running for the BIg Chair, so why not use this opportunity to shame these two chumps into bringing home some bacon?

Bruno Strozek on December 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Excellent question. I can only assume that, for purposes of bribery, our senators are “value priced.”

Mr. D on December 22, 2009 at 1:32 PM

This gives Lousianans and Nebraskans all the more reason to ick Nelson and Landrieu out on their butts in the next go around. Same for Baucus, although, unfortunately, Montana has been voting in Dems lately.
I’m not sure what the angle is for these Dems in these conservative states. They don’t seem to get it: They are already vulnerable as Dems in Republican states! Way to shoot yourselves in the foot people!

NathanG on December 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

The deal critics have dubbed the Cornhusker Kickback is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.

Josh Gerstein needs a refresher course in How Gummint Works. Here, let me help by rewriting that sentence:

The deal critics have dubbed the Cornhusker Kickback is expected to cost all US taxpayers $100 million over 10 years.

Paul_in_NJ on December 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Nothing else has worked. It is time to move on to the next step.

patriotparty1 on December 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Armed rebellion?

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 1:37 PM

A plank in the 2010 platform.

Congressional term limits.

No more Grand Kleagles.

No more Harry.

No more Barney.

No more Arlen.

No more Dodd.

Buh Bye Durbin.

See ya, Kucinich

Adios, Conyers

Hasta la bye-bye Barbara.

Wind Rider on December 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Why not throw in the towel Reid and give every Dem Senator a buy out. After all, it’s our money so what do you care. Don’t you think we notice or something? Or, are we too stupid to realize what’s happening when we do notice. If I were you Harry, after this I’d opt out of politics because you are history.

jeanie on December 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I’m not sure what the angle is for these Dems in these conservative states.
NathanG on December 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

I know why: just like here in ND, there are lots of rural people who claim to be conservative, but if you get in the way of their govt payments: i.e. Medicare/Medicaid benefits, farm programs, disaster agriculture programs, crop insurance, (I could go on & on)-then they like to vote for the pork by voting Dem.
This is why ND votes Red for the POTUS & governor, but Blue the rest of the way.
Much of the rural states’ population is old-and old people like their SS & health benefits.
And the farmers I know-well they sold out to the govt a long time ago in the form of govt payments.
And now you cannot farm without getting $$ from the govt.
Ranching will soon go that way.
Already ag groups are promoting crazy crap like Animal ID programs-forcing them onto the public bcs they took govt grant $$ to implement these programs.
It is only govt’s way of seizing more state power.
And the people go along with it bcs they want their piece of the pie, even at the expense of their fellow countrymen.

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM

franksalterego on December 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I had to leave WA state in the late 90′s bcs the Seattle area had gotten so liberal I couldn’t turn a corner without bumping into a former Californian.
I remember when WA was a nice place to live.
Now it is a liberal cesspool.

Badger40 on December 22, 2009 at 1:46 PM

It reads like the libtard encyclopedia of Santa clauses.

Western_Civ on December 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Why shouldn’t we conclude that representative democracy, as practiced to today in the USA, has failed?

james23 on December 22, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Those bastards are too busy figuring out how much CAMPAIGN MONEY they’re going to get from the ‘beneficiaries’.

GarandFan on December 22, 2009 at 2:31 PM

The senators that accepted special deals for thier vote are nothing more than whores, people who screw other people for payment. And what of the senators who did not make a deal and voted for this bill? Well they are just sluts, they screw other people for nothing.

TomLawler on December 22, 2009 at 2:33 PM

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