Senate votes in the middle of the night
When things you’re doing don’t stand up to the light of day, do them in the dark of night. Underground. With nobody watching.
At 1 a.m., the Senate held a vote for the Reid amendment to the health-care bill.
By the way, when the 1 a.m. vote took place, the Reid Amendment had been public for about 36 hours, and the public had not had a single business day to examine it. “Make no mistake,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a few minutes before the vote. “If the people who wrote this bill were proud of it, they wouldn’t be forcing this vote in the dead of night.”
Getting holdout Senators to vote for it has been expensive:
A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.
As part of the deal to win Nelson’s support, the federal government will pay for Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients. It’s a provision worth about $45 million over the first decade.
Louisiana’s Senator Mary Landrieu got a $300 million increase for Medicaid concessions.
On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.”
The section spends two pages defining which “states” would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that “during the preceding 7 fiscal years” have been declared a “major disaster area.”
I am told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.
That article says “$100 million”, but somehow, over time (a week or so), it has grown to about $300 million
Vermont’s Bernie Sanders got about $10 billion for community health centers – after he changed his mind from opposition to support.