The payoffs in the Senate Obamacare bill
It's been said that laws are like sausages - it's best not to see them being made. If ever that applied to the product of any legislative body, it applies doubly so to the debate over Obamacare.
And when it comes to the Senate's version of the bill to take over 1/6th of the American economy, we're talking about some expensive sausage.
Via the Washington Examiner, here's a list of some of the payoffs to senators in exchange for their votes for the bill:
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. -- Up to $300 million in additional federal money to pay for the state of Louisiana's share of the proposed expansion of Medicaid.
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. -- A commitment that the federal government will permanently pay for Medicaid expansion in the Cornhusker State at a cost of about $100 million.
Sens. Ben Nelson and Carl Levin, D-Mich. -- A provision that shelters Mutual of Omaha in Nebraska and Blue Cross Blue Shield in Michigan from a proposed $10 billion annual fee on the health insurance industry.
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. -- Dodd, facing a re-election battle with low poll numbers, inserted a $100 million grant tailored to a proposal for a new hospital at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. -- A 2.2 percent increase in federal coverage of Medicaid expansion, worth about $600 million over a decade.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. -- A special provision that will exempt about 800,000 senior citizens in the Sunshine State from any of the proposed cuts to the Medicaid Advantage program.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a chief architect of the health care bill inserted language in the bill to provide services and benefits, including Medicare, for a group of Montana miners exposed to asbestos.
And this is BEFORE the bill goes to the conference committee...and has to go back to the House, where it is sure to rack up a longer list of payoffs. Especially now since all the other senators and representatives have seen how "cheap" their own votes were the first time around.