I am sure there are a lot of deals going down that we do not know about, but here are a few I have heard about so far. These Senators were bought off with your tax dollars over the weekend to support the current health care bill. As you will see, this is Chicago politics in action.
Senator Nelson of Nebraska cast aside his opposition to the abortion funding in the bill for $45 million dollars. This money is to cover Nebraska’s additional Medicaid requirements from the legislation. What it means is that now the rest of the taxpayers are subsidizing Nebraska’s obligations. I guess $45 million was his price to cast his values aside. There was immediate backlash in Nebraska. Nelson’s response was typical of a liberal elitist.
“This is all orchestrated…It’s so thinly disguised … it’s almost laughable.”
Considering all recent polls show more opposition than support for this bill, I imagine he will be feeling different come election time. Unlike other eras, I do not believe people are going to forget about these votes. And according to an article I read today, his office is already being swarmed with calls and emails; so many, in fact, that they cannot handle them all. So maybe he is feeling it already. Nelson also cut a deal that will exempt the biggest insurers in his state from the new health insurance premium taxes embodied in the bill. So much for equal competition when the government gets involved. Michigan Senators also worked the same deal for their state, but as this Foundry post reveals, these Senators did not exactly do their constituents a favor. Another Senator bought off with your tax dollars was Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Her price tag was higher. $300 million in Medicaid support.
Bernie Sanders of Vermont obtained $10 billion for community health centers. He also arranged for additional federal funding for Vermont for their Medicaid requirements. I also saw that Massachusetts will also get additional funding for Medicaid, but no Senators names were mentioned. I imagine it was both of them.
The ever famous Christopher Dodd was also involved with some deal making. He got $100 million for construction of a university hospital for Connecticut.
Obama advisor and PR man David Axelrod came to Reid’s defense after these deals got out in the open. He said that this is the way things are always done in the Senate and always will. Maybe so, but it is a far cry from the change that he promised during the campaign. Strong arm tactics are not out of the question either. I have not found any examples yet, but I am sure it is happening. We have seen Obama’s response to news agencies that are critical of his policies and we also know he told Representative Peter DeFazio “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” when DeFazio was critical of his financial decisions. Of course, DeFazio thought Obama was not liberal enough, but that is beside the point. These are not actions of a quality leader who promised to bring in an era of fiscal responsibility and a new bipartisan atmosphere to Washington. These are the actions of a politician brought up in the corrupt Chicago political machine.
For the most part all the dirty deals and trash talking took place behind closed doors, but there was one instance in which a Senator went too far. That would be Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island while debating the coming health care vote.
“And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president. They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.”
I don’t think I need to go into how inappropriate the statement was, especially since it was from an elected official. It is very unbecoming of someone in his position and he should be reprimanded for it. But it also shows how out of touch Democrats are. They honestly believe that only fanatics oppose this legislation and that all opposition is staged by the big lobbying groups. This despite all the polls showing otherwise. Here are the recent poll numbers:
CNN 56% oppose 42% favor
Quinnipiac 53% oppose 36% favor
Rasmussen 55% oppose 41% favor
NBC/WSJ 47% oppose 32% favor
Not that poll numbers would affect my opinion of this legislation, put it does put a major hole in his argument. Evidently to Whitehouse, the only reason we oppose this legislation is because we are racists who do not want Obama to succeed instead of the fact that many people have conservative values and beliefs. We do not oppose this legislation because of Obama or his race, but rather because we oppose what Obama stands for and what this legislation will do. Don’t worry, I will send him a courteous email and explain it to him.
You will also notice the last line in his quote. “That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.” In the video you will see he starts to talk about the evil insurance companies. This is a typical blame game Obama and his Democratic Comrades use. Here is what you should know. If these companies were gouging the public, it would show up in two key areas; excessive executive pay and/or excessive returns to shareholders. According to Graef Crystal, a compensation expert, the opposite is the case. Below market pay and below market shareholder return is what you will find. I stole this little tidbit of information from a Bloomberg article by Caroline Baum. In this article she exposes some of the people and entities Obama’s administration uses as scapegoats to mold public opinion.
Even without these facts though, I find it quite hypocritical for Senator Whitehouse to talk about the evil insurance companies when it has been revealed that his own colleagues have cut deals for them. It is about as ridiculous as Obama making this statement
“In the long run we can’t continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like monopoly money, that’s what we’ve seen time and time again, Washington has become more concerned about the next election than the next generation.”
This from a man who’s out of control spending policies are bankrupting America’s future. Go figure.