Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Louisiana Purchase

That's what the Drudge Report is calling it. A $100 million "bribe" to get the vote of just one moderate Democratic senator: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Here's what ABC News said:

What does it take to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform? Here's a case study.

On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for "certain states recovering from a major disaster."

The section spends two pages defining which "states" would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that "during the preceding 7 fiscal years" have been declared a "major disaster area."

I am told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world: Louisiana. (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana's Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost? According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.

That may also explain why the healthcare bill is such a budget-buster. Legislation is like sausage...

As an aside, notice the use of Sneaky Journalistic Trick #27: the phrase "I am told..." in the fourth paragraph. What's that supposed to mean!? Not that what follows isn't true, mind you!

UPDATE: Make that $300 million, not $100 million.


Anonymous said...

"I am told" is journalistese for "I read this on a blog, but didn't bother taking a few minutes to read it and work it out for myself. You can't blame me if it's wrong, but I get credit for reporting it if it's right."

Old NFO said...

She's just like her daddy, crookeder than a dog's hind leg...

BobG said...

All politicians are for sale; the only difference is what price range they are in.