Nobody I personally know works in congress or the senate. Therefore, I don’t know anyone who is making money through lobbyists for their daily actions and votes. Working for these institutions seems to be more of a money grab than a position where you represent the American public. Political party affiliation doesn’t matter; on the outside and until proven otherwise, politicians are shady characters.
Cloture is the legislative term for cutting off debate and holding a final vote. The term came from the fact that a closer look at the bill uncovers man backroom deals that were made to secure the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture. I would say this isn’t surprising at all given the (un) ethical behaviors in our government.
Louisiana Purchase – $100 million in extra Medicaid money for the Bayou State, requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
Cornhusker Kickback – $100 million in extra Medicaid money, this time for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).
U Con – Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) had $100 million written into legislature for a medical center in his state. Earlier, when GOP staff member mistakenly thought the medical center was destined for Indiana rather than Connecticut, they named it the “Bayh Off” for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).
Botax – Democratic leaders had a tax in the bill that created an appearance problem. Fortunately, they had removed from the bill the tax on cosmetic procedures (the “Botax”) and replaced it with a tax on tanning (which would primarily impact House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio).
Handout Montana – Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) secured Medicare coverage for anybody exposed to asbestos — as long as they worked in a mine in Libby, Mont.
Gator Aid – Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) inserted a grandfather clause that would allow Floridians to preserve their pricey Medicare Advantage program.
Iowa Pork and Omaha Prime Cuts – Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won more Medicare money for low-volume hospitals of the sort commonly found in Iowa, while Nebraska’s Nelson won a “carve out” provision that would reduce fees for Mutual of Omaha and other Nebraska insurers.
“I don’t know if there is a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reasoned when asked at a news conference Monday about the cash-for-cloture accusation. “And if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them.”
I wish we, the general public, could see through the facade and know how much money each one of these politicians will make because of health care reform. It would be extremely naive at this point to think they are doing this without the possibility of personal gain. It would also be naive to assume this all started in late January, when Obama became president. Obama’s presidency is raising awareness because people are taking notice and paying attention for various “reasons.” If we were paying attention for the past 100 years maybe things would be different. As it stands, we may have traded one problem for another one and only time will show the better of two evils.