By Wyatt Earp | December 19, 2009
Do you want the federal government to keep their grubby little paws out of your health care choices? Are you one of the millions of Americans who want nothing to do with ObamaCare? Do you hope that the Senate bill is handily deafeated?
Well, that’s too bad. It’s over. Like Mary Landrieu, Senator Ben Nelson’s vote was bought and paid for by the Democrats. Hot Air breaks the bad news:
Every man has his price, apparently, and Harry Reid found Ben Nelson’s price for a cloture vote on ObamaCare. Nelson announced this morning that the language in the manager’s amendment on abortion will be enough to secure his support for Reid’s compromise bill, but Think Progress reports on what really sold Nelson — or bought Nelson, depending on your perspective.
Oh, he was bought. Bought like a “Lewinsky” from Paris Hilton.
Under the current merged legislation (the version unveiled on November 18th), the federal government fully finances care for the expanded population for two years and increases its matching funds (known as FMAP) thereafter. Page 98 of the managers amendment specifically identifies Nebraska for higher federal matching funds, fully funding its expansion for an additional year:
‘‘(3) Notwithstanding subsection (b) and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the Federal medical assistance percentage otherwise determined under subsection (b) with respect to all or any portion of a fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2017, for the State of Nebraska, with respect to amounts expended for newly eligible individuals described in subclause (VIII) of section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i), shall be determined as provided for under subsection (y)(1) (A) (notwithstanding the period provided for in such paragraph)
That will be worth at least hundreds of millions of dollars in federal cash for Nebraska … for the first three years. After that, Nebraskans get as screwed as the rest of the country. And what about that abortion coverage? Nelson caved.
Hope. Change. Socialized medicine.
So much for principled “Blue Dog” Democrats, huh? The highlights? Medicare will be cut. (How’s that perennial Democrat vote working for you, seniors?) Some federal funding will go toward abortions, unless the individual states pass a law prohibiting it. Insurance premiums will skyrocket to cover their losses and taxes will go through the roof. I would like to think the voters in Nebraska would severely punish Nelson at the polls for this, but the realist in me knows better.
The final vote is to be held on Christmas Eve, but this vote was its only remaining obstacle. It’ll pass, and it will be a death knell for freedom in this country. As many pundits have already pointed out, government programs are never repealed. They never go away.
Game over, man. Game over.