Tuesday, Dec 22nd, 2009
The very thing that Obama and other politicians have promised won’t continue to happen did happen. Bribes – in the way of pork – were given and received to get the 60 votes needed.
So what kind of things were promised?
A little town in Montana – Libby – with 2900 citizens was a big winner. Many of Libby’s residence have asbestos related illnesses because of a mining operation that is closed. The Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus, was able to get them all access to Medicare benefits.
I’m sure that these 2900 citizens are appreciative. But should that have been a part of the 2000+ page bill?
Some of the other winners:
Cosmetic surgeons ended up winning. They were going to have cosmetic/plastic surgery taxed, but I suppose they had good lobbyists. They won’t be taxed that 5% that was first proposed.
The states of Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont and Massachusetts will receive more help with Medicaid than other states. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska was able to score big, getting the federal government to pay 100% of the expansion of the program in his state, forever. Yes siree, the other 49 states will have to pay for this forever. That was his price, and Harry Reid thought it was a reasonable one. Vermont and Massachusetts got only temporary help – with Louisiana’s Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu negotiating $100 million for them. That was her price.
Floridians who have Medicare Advantage Plans will have their benefits grandfathered in thanks to their Senator Bill Nelson.
Certain professions will be able to have high-value insurance plans without having to be taxed on them (unlike the rest of us if we have those plans). Longshoremen were added to the list which already included electrical linemen, policemen, firefighters, EMT first responders, construction workers, miners, and people working in forestry, fishing and certain agriculture jobs.
Some unnamed community health centers got $10 billion.
A small number of physician-owned hospitals (including one in Nelson’s state of Nebraska) will be allowed to get referrals from the doctors who own them. For the others throughout the country, that will be a no-no.
There is $1 billion in extra Medicaid for states that provide home health care and visiting nurses so that the elderly don’t have to go to the hospital. AARP’s being for the health care bill will also probably get them what they wanted – closing the “do-nut hole” – the gap in coverage for prescription drugs.
Some doctors throughout the country will be paid more than others, namely in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
There were some losers too. I mean bigger losers than the states that did not receive the above mentioned pork.
The suntanning businesses were surprised to discover that there will now be a 10% tax on tanning services.
To read more of the loses, click here: Senate Health Care Bill Laden with Pork
I wish I knew what Democratic Senator was being interviewed this afternoon. I wasn’t near the TV to see the name printed at the bottom of the screen and his voice was not familiar. But he did make me angry.
When he was questioned about the bribes that happened behind closed doors, his response (not word for word, but close) was that if the others didn’t get theirs it was their fault, not his.
Oh, it’s not over yet, but it might as well be. Soon, we will all be paying higher taxes, higher premiums, and getting less health care services. Once the House and Senate bills are combined, Obama will sign off pretty quickly. He wants this under his belt before his State of the Union address.
Then the government can start taking our money for something that won’t kick in for a few years. They’ll have access to that money to use for whatever they want and then when it’s time to actually pay for the health care they’re proposing, it won’t be there. That’s the way they work in Washington, and there is no reason to think that will change.
Hopefully, enough people will be outraged about this takeover of our health that come 2010 and 2012, we’ll be able to reverse the damage being done today.
Be on the lookout for candidates who will be fiscally responsible, who want to represent the people and not the parties, who believe in limited government, free markets, and lower taxes. And when you find them, do let us all know. No matter where we are or where they are running, we should do our part to make sure the right people get into office in these coming years so we can stop the socialist train before it’s too late.