I have come to the inescapable conclusion that there is little difference between the progressive socialist Democrats and the modern Republican Party. The Democrats appear to accept they are corrupt while the GOP loudly complains about progressive corruption while doing the very same thing.
Republicans use state payoffs to win votes for repeal bill
Republicans hammered Democrats seven and a-half years ago for larding Obamacare with state-specific payoffs and sweeteners to secure the last few votes for passage. Who can forget the “Cornhusker Kickback,” which funneled $45 million to Nebraska to nail the support of former Sen. Ben Nelson? But the revised Senate Obamacare repeal bill shows Republicans engaged in the same pattern of horse trading as they try to win 50 ayes to advance an unpopular bill.
Leaders are likely to cook up even more deals to entice uncommitted senators. As conservative health policy expert Chris Jacobs points out at The Federalist, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still has about $200 billion that he can spend on holdouts without breaking Senate budget rules he's using to try to pass the legislation.
Alaska — The most blatant attempted buyoff is aimed at Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who has been decidedly unenthusiastic about potential coverage losses in the state. In what's been dubbed the "Polar Payoff," the revised legislation stipulates that any state with premiums that are at least 75 percent higher than the national average must receive at least 1 percent of state stability funding. There’s only one state that meets that threshold: Alaska. With $182 billion designated for stabilization efforts in the revised bill, that translates to at least $1.82 billion for Alaska. While that's a big pile of cash, Aviva Aron-Dine at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that the state expects to lose $3.1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020 and 2026 under the Senate bill.
Late Medicaid expansion states — The Senate bill makes a couple of arcane changes to the formula for establishing future per capita Medicaid payments that will benefit Louisiana, Alaska and Montana. That funding formula has been a major concern of Sen. Bill Cassidy, who is viewed as a potential holdout. The original bill also prohibited states that didn’t have Medicaid expansion in place in 2016 from using the expanded population for calculating its per capita base. But under the revised bill, the deadline is July 1, 2016, which happens to be when Louisiana’s expansion took effect. Two other states — Alaska and Montana — would also potentially benefit from these changes.
“Buffalo Bribe” — This provision was originally stuck in the House bill at the behest of Rep. Chris Collins of New York, who has long been angered by the way his state forces county governments to contribute to its Medicaid program.
Florida — The bill would exempt some spending from the Medicaid per capita cap in the event of a public health emergency. That was a priority for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose home state has been fighting the Zika virus outbreak. The bill also makes a change in the funding formula for hospitals that see a large number of poor and uninsured patients, using the number of uninsured instead of the number of Medicaid enrollees to calculate payments. That will particularly benefit states like Florida that didn’t expand Medicaid and have higher uninsured rates.
Arkansas — The revised bill allows states that opt for a Medicaid block grant to include their expansion population in that funding. That’s a change that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has lobbied to be included. Although it’s not clear if it would result in more money for the state, it would at the least provide additional flexibility on how those dollars are spent. <Source>
Bottom line …
It’s not their money that they are spending. Their legislation will never affect them personally. So why not continue to buy political influence by spending taxpayer funds?
Let’s just not engage in the hypocrisy that the GOP is any different from the progressive socialist democrats when it comes to pork and buying influence. As for each of the Senators who are putting their political self-interests ahead of the country, let them suffer the consequences of their actions.
Except for stymieing progressives on the Supreme Court, perhaps we should expect only a reduced level of progressive behavior from this bunch of crap-weasels.
-- We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius