Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Federalism Resurgent? Some State Officials Begin Fighting Back Leviathan

This is an interesting development, by which the Democrats' disgusting secretive self-dealing process of health care lawmaking-by-payoff is not being accepted merely as the ugly side of politics-as-usual deal cutting and vote buying.

Now actual prosecutors from various states are taking notice of the putrid stench of corruption permeating the Harry Reid health care monstrosity.

But of course, these are just partisan Republicans driven purely by political considerations, unlike those exemplars of moral and political virtue intent on ramming this shit sausage straight down the public's throats.

Several prosecutors probing health care deal

They question the constitutionality of ‘Nebraska compromise’

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina's attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and his counterparts in Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas and Washington state — all Republicans — are jointly taking a look at the deal they've dubbed the "Nebraska compromise."

"The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

McMaster's move comes at the request of Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina. In a letter to McMaster, Graham singled out the deal to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson's vote on the massive health care bill the Senate is expected to adopt Thursday. Nelson held out as fellow Democrats worked to get 60 votes to foreclose a GOP filibuster and the bill was amended to shield Nebraska from the expected $45 million annual cost tied to expanding Medicaid programs.

"We have serious concerns about the constitutionality of this Nebraska compromise as it results in special treatment for only one state in the nation at the expense of the other 49," Graham and DeMint wrote.

Nebraska wasn't alone in getting Medicaid breaks. Vermont, Louisiana and Massachusetts also got help with their programs. Along with Texas, officials in Washington, Alabama, Colorado and Michigan confirmed they were working with McMaster.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Tennessee's Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey called for his state's attorney general to investigate the deal.

"Whether in the court of law or in the court of public opinion, we must bring an end to this culture of corruption," McMaster said. The negotiations "on their face appear to be a form of vote buying paid for by taxpayers," he said.

‘We'll assist anyone’McMaster is encouraging a South Carolina citizen to step forward to sue to challenge the measure if it is signed into law. "We'll assist anyone to the extent that we're able," McMaster said.

Also Tuesday, U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Republicans need to stop complaining about deals their colleagues made.

"Rather than sitting here and carping about what Nelson got for Nebraska, I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: Let's get together and see what we can get for South Carolina," Clyburn said.

For instance, Clyburn expects states will get more help covering Medicaid expansion costs. Critics say the federal government's coverage of 91 percent of those future costs will disappear, leaving states with huge holes in their budgets.

Clyburn says the legislation the federal share should be 95 percent, with states picking up no more than 5 percent.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said the federal legislation is "well intended," but called it "fundamentally flawed in the same way the stimulus efforts were in that the states and the taxpayers are left footing the bill."

Sanford this spring was the nation's only governor to take a state legislature to federal and state court to block federal stimulus money.

The Democrat partisan mania to pass something/anything to meet the artificial Obama health care legislation timeline (which, nauseatingly, has been largely admitted as based on the politics and timing of Obama's desired State of the Union Address triumphalism) and driven by the Democrats phony hysterical sky-is-falling urgency (only to have the public wait 4 years before any of the purported benefits arrive) has produced the most reckless, chaotic, single-mindedly-partisan trainwreck of a legislative process I have ever witnessed in my lifetime (covering at least 25 years closely following national politics).


Hal (GT) said...

Good for them. I hope they don’t get bought off or sandbagged by DC. Someone needs to look into all these funny behind close door dealings. I’m certainly getting weary of this take from others and give a portion of it to some other group. King George III would be proud.

Of course there is a bit of a social engineering aspect to it. Now Nebraska’s population is going to explode with people seeking free medical and lower tax rates then the rest of the 49.

And I guess it’s worth noting that Nelson does in fact have a price in mind on what a life is worth.

Chris Slavens said...

Carper and Kaufman both voted in favor of the bill. Will Beau Biden join the other attorneys general in challenging the consitutionality of the vote, and the crooked deals that brought it about? Don't hold your breath. On days like this, being a Delawarean is embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Rahm Emmanuel Chicago political thug was at the root of the deal making. In fact, both Firedoglake a progressive blog and a right winger Grover Norquist, both groups have called for an immediate investigation into Emmanuel and requesting his resignation. It was Rahm who met with Big Pharma, to make sure there would be no drug importation. It was Rahm who met with Baucus again and again to make sure there would be no public option, it was Rahm who met with the AMA and the top insurance companies, "requesting information they (the corporates) could live with". This right wing zionist zealot, and Chicago thug took both single payer and the public option off the table. Thuggery politics and Obama was behind the scenes directing traffic. Of course its unconsitutional. How can one State get the feds to cover Medicaid for ever, and other even poorer states are left out. A politcal sham and scam on the order of the Bush regime. Time for the people whether on the right or the left, to come together and understand neither party is working for us, both parties are owned fully, lock and stock and barrel by corporate america. Until every city, county, state office, along with Congress and the Senate throws everyone of these traitors out of office, and elects good government proven track record candidates, we dont have a democracy.

Anonymous said...

The question left unanswered is: what deal did Carper, Castle and Kaufman make for Dealaware? None! We got screwed, blued and tatooed by the three blind mice.