Even though plans to ensure Nebraska residents would get $300 billion in federal health care kickbacks will not survive the next version of the Democrat’s health care legislation, plenty “carve-outs” providing billions to other states – not specifically named – will survive. The union deals may survive as well.
Nelson sacrificed his agreement with Reid to have the federal government forever pick up Nebraska’s share of a proposed Medicaid expansion, bowing to critics that included some in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has singled it out, saying her members will not consider the bill unless the Nebraska deal is removed.
But there is no visible movement to erase a Medicaid deal with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that she has said is worth $300 million, three times the amount of Nelson’s agreement.
Or to strike a line item that exempts Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan from a 40 percent tax on insurers that provide expensive health plans. Or to remove a provision that sends an extra $500 million in Medicaid funding to Massachusetts and $600 million to Vermont for being leaders in providing health insurance to their residents.
There are many carve-outs in this legislation – and almost every piece of legislation coming from the Congress-critters – which I have referred to in the past.
… Mary Landrieu’s $300 million Louisiana Purchase will survive despite being three times as expensive as the Cornhusker Kickback. So will an exemption on Cadillac-plan taxes for Michigan, as will $500 million to Massachusetts for Medicaid reimbursements and $600 million to Vermont, for its “leadership” on cost control.
Basically, the Democrats have decided to embrace the entire notion of backroom deals and opacity in government despite the clear lesson from the Massachusetts special election. Democrats promised transparency, but delivered lobbyist-driven perks for unions instead.
What truly is opaque here is the language Congress-critters have been using for decades that describe conditions where certain states, counties, school districts or even individual streets – and those areas only – “qualify” for some sort of federal break on taxes or a targeted grant, without naming the recipient in the legislation at all.
Symptom of the disease…