Money for votes
It’s always worked in the past. This time, though, they have a little more of our money to throw around.
Here’s a list of what the White House spread around to “encourage” Senators to vote their way:
On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.”
Exactly one “certain state” qualifies: Louisiana (Hurricane Katrina).
Update: Landrieu says it’s really $300 million:
“I am not going to be defensive,” she declared. “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.”
Contained in the nearly 2,000-page House healthcare bill is a little-noticed provision — worth $300 million to California — that would increase federal Medicare payments to doctors in a wide swath of the state in response to complaints that low reimbursement rates have kept them from taking new patients.
… big labor bosses hope you do not notice some lower-profile provisions tucked into the pages of this massive proposal. If they become law, these provisions would give union leaders considerable influence over health care decisions affecting us all.
. . .
After spending almost $80 million during the last election cycle, unions are on the brink of reaping a significant return on their investment. Despite representing only about 7.6% of private sector employees, unions are poised to gain significant privileges, authority and financial windfalls from health care reform. Coming at the expense of tax-paying patients and businesses, these specific benefits would do little or nothing to improve our health care system.
. . .
According to research firms, unions are woefully short of funds to pay their retirees’ anticipated insurance claims. Thus, under the House resolution, union leaders who have mismanaged these plans for their members could receive up to $10 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money, innocuously referred to as a “reinsurance program.”
Maybe some of the $787 billion will actually go to improving health care for the average American.