Monday, December 21, 2009

Again - - I thought this was against the law

Dubbing them the "Louisiana purchase" and the "Cornhusker kickback," Republicans on Sunday attacked special deals for individual states included in the health care bill heading for a Senate vote this week.

Aimed at a small group of Democratic senators who were wavering on the underlying 10-year, $871 billion health care bill, the carveouts for Nebraska, Louisiana and other states represent hundreds of millions of dollars. . . .

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled the new health care legislation over the weekend after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations — including with some of the members who won concessions in the bill. . . . a new provision that would provide tens of millions of dollars in funding to Nebraska, home to Sen. Ben Nelson. Nelson was the last Democrat to support the measure and did so after days of intense talks with Reid and the White House over abortion.

As part of the effort to expand insurance coverage, the bill increases Medicaid enrollment by 15 million by 2019. The cost of that expansion will be shared by state and federal governments except in Nebraska, where the federal government will pay for all of the new enrollees. . . .

Another compromise was won by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who had argued that the bill did not go far enough to help uninsured families. Sanders nevertheless took credit for $10 billion in funding for community health centers, which provide low-cost care to people across the country. . . . Vermont and Massachusetts also won increased federal aid, though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office did not project how much the provisions would cost.

. . . Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., agreed to vote to start debate on the bill after scoring a $300 million bump in Medicaid funding for her state.

Honestly, I thought selling your vote was illegal.

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