Friday, November 20, 2009

"Pay to play" alive and well in Washington

Harry Reid need every Democratic vote in the Senate to proceed to debate his health care reform bill this weekend.  ABC News Jonathan Karl exposes the lengths to which he has gone to get Senator Mary Landrieu' vote:
What does it take to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform?

Here’s a case study.

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.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world: Louisiana. (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost? According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.
Chattahbox tells us how he plans to get Senator Ben Nelson's vote:
For Nelson, Reid left out of the bill, a measure to end the anti-trust exemptions for the insurance industry, despite Reid’s strong support for doing away with the exemptions. Nelson came out publicly in opposition to ending the anti-trust exemptions awarded years ago to health insurance companies.
Talking Points Memo logically wonders, what's in it for Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas?  Stay tuned.


  1. Don't even get me stzrted on Lousiana and disaster!!!

  2. Yes, at a time when our country is going bankrupt, the leader of the senate is awarding $100 million prizes (money from taxpayers) to individuals. These 'prizes' are to secure votes to further put our country in debt, ration health care for the achieving population of our country, and make us more beholden to big government...