Mike the Mad Biologist

A measly $100 million? This was the great principle that Nelson was fighting for:

Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its state Medicaid program under provisions negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in the Senate’s healthcare reform bill….

Nelson managed to win a share of the section of the manager’s amendment on Equitable Support for Certain States, which will provide Nebraska, along with Massachusetts and Vermont, support in paying its share of additional costs to Medicaid in the health legislation….

“Well, you know, look, I didn’t ask for a special favor here. I didn’t ask for a carve-out,” Nelson said. “What I said is the governor of Nebraska has contacted me, he said publicly he’s having trouble with the budget. This will add to his budget woes. And I said, look, we have to have that fixed.”

After months of delay, months of grandstanding, it comes down to $100 million. We should have just cut a check months ago, and saved all the bother.

Principle, my ass.

Comments

  1. #1 JasonTD
    December 23, 2009

    For Nebraska, $100,000,000 is about 3% of their annual budget. It also would almost completely erase their expected revenue shortfalls for the next 2 years.

    Maybe every Senator should demand more of a boost of the Federal share of Medicaid spending for their state, since they are going to dramatically increase eligibility. If we add in a couple dozen more states to the payoff, we would finally be talking about real money.

  2. #2 Rob Jase
    December 23, 2009

    Isn’t extortion supposed to be a crime?

  3. #3 Pineyman
    December 23, 2009

    Rob @2 –

    That’s why our good buddy, Sen. Graham (R-SC) has asked his state AG to investigate. He was on NPR yesterday explaining why it is extortion.

  4. #4 NewEnglandBob
    December 23, 2009

    It isn’t extortion if it is made public for the entire world. That does not make it ethical though. It is unethical for both sides in that deal.

  5. #5 Comrade PhysioProf
    December 23, 2009

    Grow the fuck up. This is how the Senate works. It always has, and it always will. And given the constitutional structure of our government, this is how it is *supposed* to work.

    If you don’t like it, you need to amend the constitution. Blaming individual senators for this is absurd.

  6. #6 JasonTD
    December 23, 2009

    Comrade PhysioProf,

    Of course that it is ‘how the Senate works’. But I’ve been reading for weeks comments from progressives about the undemocratic nature of the Senate and how a handful of Senators from small states (particularly a certain Senator from Connecticut) are causing the bill to be far weaker than it should be (no public option, individual mandate, etc.). Thus it is unseemly and hypocritical to see Senators doing this kind of deal making defended if it gets to the magic number while other Senators were vilified when they weren’t cooperating.

    As for this being how it is supposed to work, I disagree. The Senate is supposed to be more deliberative and willing to compromise, that is true. On the other hand, there is nothing inherent in the Constitutional design of Congress that is supposed to lead to:

    - Enormously complex legislation being crafted with little transparency. Who would be willing to wager against it being fact that entire sections of major bills are actually written by lobbyists or at least crafted to match guidelines lobbyists give to their favorite members of Congress?

    – Members of Congress voting on amendments to bills and bills themselves without having any full understanding of what the effects of the legislation will be. This lack of understanding comes from not having time to really delve into the details before having to decide on a vote, not having the intellectual ability or expertise to do so, or because they were bullied, cajoled, or outright bought off with goodies for their state into going along with their party’s leadership. (or some combination of all of the above)

    These things are not inevitable outcomes of the structure of Congress. They are outcomes of the low standards members of Congress are being held to by voters.

  7. #7 Rob Jase
    December 23, 2009

    “Grow the fuck up. This is how the Senate works. It always has, and it always will. And given the constitutional structure of our government, this is how it is *supposed* to work.”

    And here I thought that elected officials were supposed to actually give a shit about what is good for the people that elected them. Thanks for clearing that up.

  8. #8 microfool
    December 24, 2009

    And here I thought that elected officials were supposed to actually give a shit about what is good for the people that elected them. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Seems like getting $100 million to solve your state’s budget issue is pretty helpful to those who elected you.

    More or less than a gutted bill would be the debate during his next election.

    Why would we expect those wielding power to act not only selflessly but also against the interests of those who directly fund their campaigns and elect them? Can we expect that of every Jane and Joe on the street?

  9. #9 lovenk
    October 8, 2010

    that’s really a big shame….