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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anybody want to read the monstrosity? Let's play, "Find the Earmarks"

Here's the bill, H.R. 3962, all 1,990 pages of it. The question is -- how many bribes were built into it to buy votes? Let's play, "Find the Earmarks!"

Here's an interesting untraceable goody for selected Democratic supporters and voters will never be the wiser:
One such earmark suddenly appeared in H.R. 3962 in Section 1745, “Nursing Home Supplemental Payment Program.” This provision did not exist when the Committee on Energy and Commerce had completed its work. Section 1745 creates a new $6 billion slush fund with the Medicaid program to dispense to nursing homes.

This new fund has several unique characteristics that set it apart from the normal operations of Medicaid. First, payments to Medicaid nursing homes are made through states and require a state to match the federal funds. Under this section, there is no state money and the decision as to what facilities will receive the money will be made by Secretary Sebelius (and therefore no state involvement in decision making). Although the legislation provides $1.5 billion for each year in the period 2010-2013, the Secretary could hold the money for 2010 and 2011 and make big lump sum payments in 2012. Second, she does not have to go through any formal rulemaking process to award the funds. Third, her decision is final and is not subject to any type of review. This is important because facilities that receive the money will have a comparative advantage over its competitors. Finally, the Secretary will be required to tell the respective committees of Congress which facilities received the money, but is not obligated to tell anyone else.
Which nursing homes do you think Kathleen will shower with sweets? Perhaps those in districts of Democrats that contribute to their campaigns? Six billion could buy a lot of votes. Did you note her discretion to hold the payments until an election year? Did you notice the secrecy? So much for "openness and transparency" from one of the most corrupt administration/congresses in history. (TO BE CONTINUED...)

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