If this health care debacle is so good for everybody then why are key politicians makinf deals to lessen it's effects in their states?
State Medicaid.....A central feature of the Baucus bill is the vast expansion of state Medicaid programs. This is necessary, we are told, to cover more of the nation's uninsured. The provision has angered governors, since the federal government will cover only part of the expansion and stick fiscally strapped states with an additional $37 billion in costs. The "states, with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities," griped Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland......... Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is worried about losing his seat next year, worked out a deal by which the federal government will pay all of his home state's additional Medicaid expenses for the next five years.
Taxing Cadillac health policies..... Mr. Baucus's legislation would tax high-value insurance plans—a 40% tax on plans that cost more than $21,000 a year. Democrats argue it is reform to make those who can afford "luxury" health care chip in for those who can't afford any at all.........Sen. Chuck Schumer didn't want a lot of angry overtaxed New Yorkers on his hands, so he and other similarly situated Democrats carved out a deal by which the threshold for this tax will be higher in their states. If you live in Kentucky, you get taxed at $21,000. If you live in Massachusetts you don't get taxed until $25,000. This carve-out is at least more sweeping, applying to 17 (largely blue) states, though that's cold comfort if you live in Louisville.
Taxing Pharmaceutical companies......Mr. Baucus will also pay for his bill by socking it to pharmaceutical companies, on the principle that drug companies are filthy rich and should have to contribute to health care. The view is a bit different in New Jersey. The state's Web site boasts it is the "global epicenter" of the drug industry, where "15 of the world's 20 largest pharmaceutical companies have major facilities." Sen. Bob Menendez, of the Garden State, seems concerned that his home-state employers are going to struggle to both pay their federal liabilities and to continue to grow and innovate. And Thus Mr. Menendez's quiet deal for a $1 billion tax credit for companies investing in drug R&D.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow isn't counting on it when it comes to her constituents. She and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry included $5 billion in the bill for a reinsurance program designed to defray the medical costs of union members.
"This will help our employers, whether it's the auto industry or whether it's other industries, be able to lower their costs for early retirees," said Ms. Stabenow. She is apparently unaware that this is what the broader bill is supposed to do, even without $5 billion in union slush money.
So, health-care "reform" is good, smart and necessary, so long as it isn't fully applied to the states of the senators who are pushing it. The Democrats' growing problem is that somebody is ultimately going to have to pay, and Mr. Reid's bad example has given every one the same idea. "If Colorado has a fair claim on being treated the same way Nevada has been, of course we're going to ask to have that kind of treatment," promised Sen. Mark Udall, upon news of the Reid deal.