One of the big “improvements” to the healthcare plan, this time around, is the removal of a special perk for Nebraska that Democrats dangled in order to get Senator Ben Nelson to vote “YES”.
The solution actually was to give all states the same perk.
But the President has been making a big deal out of the fact that reform would not be laden with all kinds of goodies and backroom deals.
Except that when it comes down to crunch time, it’s just too tempting.
Still seeking votes for his proposed health care overhaul, President Barack Obama appears ready to reverse his position and allow unpopular deal-sweetening measures in the hopes of finding Democratic support for legislation whose future will be decided in coming days. …
Clinching support, though, might require Obama to back away from his insistence that senators purge the legislation of a number of lawmakers’ special deals.
Taking a new position, Axelrod said the White House only objects to state-specific arrangements, such as an increase in Medicaid funding for Nebraska, ridiculed as the “Cornhusker Kickback.” That’s being cut, but provisions that could affect more than one state are OK, Axelrod said.
That means deals sought by senators from Montana and Connecticut would be fine — even though Gibbs last week singled them out as items Obama wanted removed. There was resistance, however, from two committee chairman, Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, and the White House has apparently backed down.
So sweeteners are bad if they just affect one or two states. If it’s multiple states, then we’re fine.
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