Balking, Billions, BS, & Bribes

To say I am disgusted that the health care reform bill passed the cloture vote is an understatement. Although I know we cannot trust anything most politicians have to say, I am shocked that all of the politicians who stated their position would switch so easily. Anyway, here are my thoughts for today.

Thought #1

The day after Joe Lieberman (I-CT) cast his vote for cloture on the bill, he was strutting all over the capitol crowing that he will not support the bill in a final vote if the public option is included.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, speaking in that trademark sonorous baritone, utters a simple statement that translates into real trouble for Democratic leaders: “I’m going to be stubborn on this.”

Stubborn, he means, in opposing any health-care overhaul that includes a “public option,” or government-run health-insurance plan, as the current bill does. His opposition is strong enough that Mr. Lieberman says he won’t vote to let a bill come to a final vote if a public option is included.

Nice “promise” there Captain Obvious. Thanks for sticking to your principles, but pardon us if we can’t ignore the fact that you keep speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

Thought #2

I can’t help but question why any politician would vote for this bill.

The bill doesn’t start spending until 2014, and only costs $9 billion that year. But by 2019, the annual cost hits $196 billion. The minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee reports that, if you factor out all the budget gimmicks and look at the 10 years of actual implementation, the cost is closer to $2.5 trillion.

This bill increases our federal deficit to levels which will never be paid off, not even by our great-great-great-great grandchildren. It raises taxes to a level where many workers will be paying nearly one-half of their income to the federal government. The bill also threatens billions of dollars in fees and penalties, not to mention jailtime for those who do not wish to have government-run health care.

If I hadn’t read the bill myself, and seen all of the coverage of it, I would think we were talking about some European country, but sadly, we’re not. My arms are swollen from pinching myself, hoping to wake up from this horrible nightmare. The sad thing is, it’s not even to the worst part yet.

Thought #3

Harry Reid is an expert liar. Well, I wouldn’t call him an expert, because everyone knows he’s a liar. Habitual liar then, maybe? He certainly takes his time and packs as many lies into one sentence as he can. Does that make him a bulk liar?

“The key elements of this health care reform bill, I repeat: reduces short-and-long term debt, expands coverage, promotes choice and competition, reforms the insurance market, improves quality of care,” Reid said.

How many lies did you count? Go read John Hawkins’ post at Right Wing News to find out.

Thought #4

Mary Landrieu’s vote for cloture on the health care bill, and maybe even the final vote, was bought and paid for by Harry Reid. She has attacked ABC for making this claim, and she blames ABC for all the “vicious” attacks from right wing blogs.

Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

The section is question is Section 2006 of HR 3590, which states:

SEC. 2006. SPECIAL ADJUSTMENT TO FMAP DETERMINATION FOR CERTAIN STATES RECOVERING FROM A MAJOR DISASTER.

Section 1905 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d), as amended by sections 2001 (A) (3) and 2001 (B) (2), is amended (1) in subsection (b), in the first sentence, by striking subsection (y) and inserting subsections (y) and (aa); and (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection: (aa)

(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), beginning January 1, 2011, the Federal medical assistance percent age for a fiscal year for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjust ment State shall be equal to the following: (A) In the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), increased by 50 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 1115

(if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 1115. (B) In the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection for the State, increased by 25 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection.

(2) In this subsection, the term disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State means a State that is one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, for which, at any time during the preceding 7 fiscal years, the President has declared a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and determined as a result of such disaster that every county or parish in the State warrant individual and public assistance or public assistance from the Federal Government under such Act and for which (A) in the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 1115 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 1115, by at least 3 percentage points; and (B) in the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection by at least 3 percentage points.

(3) The Federal medical assistance percentage de termined for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State under paragraph (1) shall apply for purposes of this title (other than with respect to disproportionate share hospital payments described in section 1923 and payments under this title that are based on the enhanced FMAP described in 2105(b)) and shall not apply with respect to payments under title IV (other than under part E of title IV) or payments under title XXI.

Let’s think of all of the states which have had a county or parish declared a major disaster area by the President in the past seven years that meets all of the requirements listed above (aka where every county or parish in the State warrants individual and public assistance). How many do you come up with?

One clue. Katrina. Got it yet? Section 2006 was written explicitly for the state of Louisiana, which just happens to be Mary Landrieu (D-LA) territory. According to ABC, the cost of Section 2006 is $100 million, but Mary Landrieu herself has gone on the record to correct that amount.

I will correct something. It’s not $100 million, it’s $300 million, and I’m proud of it and will keep fighting for it

The Senate health care bill is Harry Reid’s creation. It took quite a few weeks to draft that bill and no matter what Mary Landrieu says now, the truth is Harry Reid either wrote that section, or allowed it to be entered into the bill.

There is no denying that Section 2006 only applies to the state of Louisiana, and Mary Landrieu herself will “fight” for that section. So, was it a bribe from Harry Reid to buy her vote for the bill?

Let’s keep looking at the facts.

According to an article at nola.com, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) will be hosting a fundraiser for Harry Reid (D-NV) next month in New Orleans. Say what?

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will host a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in New Orleans next month, an event that comes on the heels of Reid’s assistance getting Louisiana a windfall of Medicaid money in the health care reform bill.

The event was planned “several weeks ago,” according to Landrieu’s office. She and political consultant James Carville will host a brunch on Dec. 12 at the St. Charles Avenue home of David Voelker, an investor who chairs the Louisiana Recovery Authority and was a supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Why on Earth would a moderate Democrat like Mary Landrieu host a fundraiser for Harry Reid, in New Orleans? The only reason to hold a fundraiser for a Senator from Nevada in New Orleans is to repay a favor you received from that Senator (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours).

It’s just a bit too coincidental that Mary Landrieu was wavering about supporting the health care bill, section 2006 was written so it applies to no other state than Louisiana, and now she’s throwing a fundraiser for the Senate majority leader.

The people of the state of Louisiana should be ashamed of Mary Landrieu.

As a former resident of the state Nevada I can tell you, Harry Reid is not looking out for the interests of his constituents either. He hasn’t for a long time, it just took a while for many people to see his true colors. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time now before Harry Reid is but a painful memory in the timeline of Nevada history.

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