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  • The Reid Amendment: Sweetheart Deals and Interstate Warfare

    Christmas is coming early for a few lucky states including Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Vermont. But their good fortune will come at the expense of other states. Overall, the government health care plan is still alive and well in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) manager’s amendment released this  morning, hiding in the form of expanding Medicaid eligibility and inserting State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) rules into the Exchange.

    First, the winning states. Nebraska and Hawaii are easily identifiable because the Reid amendment specifies their sweetheart deals by name. While all the other states will lose the extra federal financing for new Medicaid eligibles after 2017, full federal financing will continue for Nebraska. Hawaii gets funding for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments that it gave up years ago to expand Medicaid eligibility. Ironically, $18.5 billion in cuts to the DSH program in all the other states help finance the rest of the health care legislation.

    Massachusetts and Vermont have already expanded Medicaid eligibility so they would not have benefited from new federal financing under the original legislation. The Reid amendment provides a fix for these states. The increased federal spending will not increase insurance coverage, it will only substitute federal funds for state funds.

    Who are the losers? All the other states. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the Reid Amendment, total state funding for Medicaid and SCHIP will increase by $1 billion compared to the original legislation. Clearly if total state spending goes up and spending for a few favorite states goes down, then all the other states are picking up the tab.

    New federal rules will punish states that would use the flexibility of current law to increase the share paid by with local governments for Medicaid. California and New York historically have shared the cost and administration of Medicaid with counties and municipalities. States that have not done so in the past will lose federal funds if they attempt to do so now.

    States seeking demonstration projects (“waivers”) may find their paths blocked by new requirements to allow outside parties review applications. Senators are apparently unsure as to how new provisions will be viewed in the light of the Medicaid entitlement so a new provision to ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on “causes of action” has been added.

    The Reid Amendment also raises new requirements on health plans participating in the Exchange. Using this authority, the Secretary can block any health plan from covering children that does not meet certain benefits and cost sharing provisions. Medicaid, of course, through the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) provisions provides the most generous benefit package available. It also includes new reporting requirements on health plans on pediatric quality measures. Herein lies the seeds of a future government plan—continued expansion of Medicaid and using Medicaid and SCHIP rules to drive private plans out of business.

    Over the past few weeks, the debate on the Senate floor has reduced the health care reform debate from what the American people really want to a desperate defense along the lines, “it’s better than nothing and we will fix it later.” By pitting state against state, the Reid Amendment raises the backroom deal to an art form.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    41 Responses to The Reid Amendment: Sweetheart Deals and Interstate Warfare

    1. Penny Krause Ankeny, says:

      Is it constitutional for congress to make deals that mandate most startes pay for the medicad expenses of others? I thought taxes were to be equally applied to all. I wholly object to these "deals" whhich are nothing but bribes that will shift expenses from some states to others. How can that be constirtutional? Where in the document does it make provision for this kind of nonsense (criminal nonsense)?

    2. Ross Wolf, Las Vegas says:

      While House Democrats relentlessly borrow and spend U.S. taxpayers into oblivion, Democrats understate the power of U.S. Government's biggest creditor, China. Any default by U.S. Government on Chinese loans could destroy U.S. credit ratings and the dollar globally, particularly with oil producing nations that accept U.S. Dollars. Meanwhile, China is speedily building its military and developing an independent Asian economy that will make it economically feasible for China at will to collapse the U.S. economy and cripple U.S. military defense budgets, simply by demanding full payment of U.S. debts. The Communist Government is brilliantly usurping U.S. global power, by allowing Congress to repeatedly approve huge borrowing from China. House Democrat support of Reid’s Health Care Bill is perhaps the most flagrant example of House Democrats selling out and subordinating America’s financial and military security for their political purposes.

    3. Rant, Texas says:

      I hope this bill is unconstitutional. We have no other recourse but the courts.

      It will pass both houses with an abundance of sweetheart deals to anyone who shows up to object. It will soon be heading back to the House of Reps, and I expect them to standing at Madam Pelosi's door with their hands out. All of which we pay for in an unfair way.

      I hope these special deals for a few will be found to be unconstitutional. It should be for all or for none.

      Every recourse should be tried to stop this and get a real bill, bipartisan bill that most of us can support.

    4. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      I also heard (from a study) that in the "stimulus" to states that those democrat controlled states got twice the funding that the republican controlled states did, so this administration is not concerned whether or not some states are helped, and others hurt by the bill. The Stimulus itself used "taxpayer" money to fund projects that would normally be paid by individual states themselves (if states decided it was worth it or not.) So it just makes sense that the government would try to make everyone who pays taxes pick up the tab for this reform. It is clearly re-distribution going on here.

    5. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      The States need to get their brightest Constitutional scholars onboard and take this to the Supreme Court before the court gets packed with any more activist legislators from the bench! They can also file a separate suit addressing the unconstitutional mandate threatening Americans with jail/fine.

      NOW, maybe well-meaning Democrats will understand the danger of allowing the radical left-wing of their party to speak on their "behalf". Ultimately, the Democrats will suffer as well.

      These leftists make no distinction in destroying any opposition. Their oratory, arrogance, smoke and mirrors, and flat out bribery is a disgrace. Most importantly, they are not protecting the Constitution and they are not representing the will of the American people.

      So, what is their purpose in office? Power – period.

    6. Pingback: Headlines 12.20.2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    7. MB, Baton Rouge, LA says:

      Guess the DIMS own the JUDICIAL Branch too. We truly have an oligarchy form of government. Why aren't they being challenged?

    8. Pingback: Senate ObamaCare funds Elective Abortions; details hidden in legalese « VotingFemale Speaks!

    9. John Cooper, North C says:


      Good article. I referenced it at the Asheville Tea Party blog at Ben Nelson Got “Free” Medicaid for Life for Nebraska. What did Kay Hagan get for North Carolina? (Update 2) with the comment:

      The U.S. Constitution was specifically written to prevent one State from gaining an advantage over any other. Article I, Section 8 specifies that “…all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”. Article 9 specifies that “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.” and “No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.”

      Clearly, the founders intended that all States would be treated equally under the law, but this bill does just the opposite, giving preference to one State over another.

      Yet another reason any Senator should vote NO on this bill.

    10. Butch Holman - Jacks says:

      I agree. This whole fiasco with closed door meetings with only Democrats, making deals with OUR taxpayer money, paying off Senators, is totally Unconstitutional! We have to do something, and quick. Where are all of the Constitutional lawyers? We can't let this keep happening! I wrote to MRC's legal team about some sort of Impeachment process a while back, but never got a response about Article II Section I, II, III, and IV. Somebody look into this. This is bordering on all crimes including Treason!

      Thank You,


    11. Bobbie Jay says:


    12. Pingback: Ben Nelson Got “Free” Medicaid for Life for Nebraska. What did Kay Hagan get for North Carolina? (Update 2) « Asheville Tea Party

    13. Jill Hetherington says:

      How do they keep a straight face and call this reform?

    14. Kristen, Idaho says:

      This is tantamount to another war between the states. All states not given a sweetheart deal should fight in anyway shape or form. This is NOT acceptable. I expect my senators and representatives to go ballistic on this bill!! The control in DC over the states is unbelievable. Federalism must return! State sovereignty must become the norm. I've never been so angry about politics in my life.

      This is not the United States- this is the Slaves of DC States of America! We are back to where we were at the Revolutionary war! Unbelievable. Slaves again to a tyrannical gov't.

      The fight is on.

    15. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Does any of those that think this entire bribery scheme and "sweetheart deals" that are being made by Reid (and backed by Obama) will stand up in a Court of Law? You better wake up! The fix is in!

      Obama is a Marxist, but he is not a fool. He knows full well that he has the Federal Courts in his pocket to find in his favor, or he would have

      never started this process. One more time, WE ARE IN A WAR and the Obama supporters are not taking


    16. John Stevens Verm says:

      At any price our senators have, behind closed doors, proven to me that they will sell their souls for votes. The seniotity system creates KINGDOMS

    17. John Stevens Verm says:

      Behind closed doors deals are made with the devil. Our representative form of government is dead. Seniority and closed door deal making has relieved us of any responsibility for legislation. Taxation without representation prevails. I suggest we must bankrupt the system before it can be influenced by voters. A tax revolt is in the making. Count me in!!!

    18. Dave, Laguna Niguel says:

      Too bad our military lost its collective gonads years ago, otherwise they would be doing the right thing…arresting those who trample our constitution and thereby break our laws! The military is there to PROTECT AMERICANS! The PRESIDENT is there to PROTECT AMERICANS! The Senate and Congress are there to PROTECT AMERICANS! Neither is doing what they were sworn to do…protect Americans from all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC! When are the real Americans going to stand up?!

    19. Ian Santoro, Albany says:

      The only thing states can do is exercise the tenth amendment and nullify the law. The courts themselves cannot be trusted even though everyone knows this bill is unconstitutional.

    20. Drew Page, IL says:

      "My administration id going to be the most transparent in history."

      'We are going to round up all the key players in health care, doctors, nurses, representatives from the pharaceutical companies and insurance companies. We will have democrats and Republicans. We will gather at a big round table and put it on C-SPAN, so the American people can the constituencies each party is representing.'

      Does any of this sound familiar? It does to me.

      I also recall President Pinnoccio saying that he was going to post all proposed legislation on the internet for five days, so the American people could see it and react to it before he acted on it. President Pinnoccio was also going to review all proposed legislation and exercise line item veto authority, eliminating earmarks and porkbarrel spending. I couldn't tell, but his fingers must have been crossed behind his back when he was making all those campaign promises.

      Pinnoccio's father, David 'Gepetto' Axelrod will explain that President Pinnoccio didn't really lie when he said those things, he merely changed his mind. These were only things that Pinnoccio wanted to do. Geppeto Axelrod will tell us all politicians do this, and are sometimes forced by circumstances to change their minds. Too bad those who voted for all the "hope and change" can't change their votes and are stuck with President Pinnoccio for another three years.

      In the meantime, we will have to get used to President Pinnoccio's nose getting into a room five minutes before the rest of him.

    21. Pingback: Socialists Claim They Can Conquer Death Itself « VotingFemale Speaks!

    22. Perry OK says:

      To be or not to be? In this climate of socialistic value. Tax me I will not pay. Death is preferable to tyranny. We can not help anyone if we. Can not help ourselves.

      How many would just not go to work for 1 day a month? It wiuld take a lot of people to make the effect, but when business losses big money people listen, how much money would they lose before they started yelling.

      If you don't like that one how about no one buys ANYTHING on Mondays. We have to hit them where it hurts in THEIR wallets.

    23. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      From: "The American Thinker"

      The obvious game plan for Obama – Cloward/Piven Strategy:

      "The Cloward/Piven Strategy is named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their goal is to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change.

      Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation… [Emphasis added.]

      Making an already weak economy even worse is the intent of the Cloward/Piven Strategy. It is imperative that we view the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan's spending on items like food stamps, jobless benefits, and health care through this end goal. This strategy explains why the Democrat plan to "stimulate" the economy involves massive deficit spending projects. It includes billions for ACORN and its subgroups such as SHOP and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Expanding the S-Chip Program through deficit spending in a supposed effort to "save the children" only makes a faltering economy worse".

      So far so good for Obama and the left.

    24. Butch Holman - Jacks says:

      I agree with Kristen. I wrote about it to my Tea Party and also to you guys. Our Forefathers founded this Country, fought, bled, and died 233 years ago so that we could be FREE from Tyranny and Suppression form a king across the ocean. Now we are going too have to fight against the same Tyranny and Suppression but with one major difference. This is in our Own Country, against our Own Government, and I don't think they are going to be peaceful !!! So, you had better get ready.

      Butch Holman

    25. philip says:

      For sale liberman, NEB. SEN, and Lap DOG democrats.We have no honor we have a price that we will sell out freedom , the consitutionand all of america. We have aprice just ask Liberman I had respect for not ant longer you sold your soul judes

    26. TimG Minneapolis, MN says:

      Same complaints about Dems as we had about the Repubs for 6 years. They all spend and borrow like a spoiled wife on steriods.

      Term limits and a viable moderate third party. Vote them all out. Go to your primaries and vote all the incumbents out, both sides.

    27. Zeke MN says:

      America is under attack. No differant than 9/11. Our elected Officals are not doing the "People's work", but are attempting to force an idiology on American which is not wanted. A won election does not give Congress the power to usurp the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. It is time to resist this in every legal way possiable in accordance with the Constitution.

      I was born a free American and I plan to stay that way.

    28. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      While today’s Democrats are generally morally bankrupt leftwing socialists, we know some (like Nelson and Lieberman) are not as bad as others. But sadly, they’ll be bullied into voting with their corrupt party leaders –Nasty Pelosi, Dingy Harry Reid, et al. So I ask: why won’t the GOP use the same strategy? If the Democrat leaders (such as Nasty Pelosi) won’t tolerate members who cross the aisle and vote with us, why do we tolerate Republicans who side with Democrats? To save the GOP and our country, we need to be firm!! Say NO to the environmentalist wackos and Cap & Trade. Say NO to pork barrel and runaway profligate spending. Say NO to National Health Care. Say yes to free market health care reform. Say YES to fiscal responsibility, tax cuts and eliminating absurd regulation. Since the Democrats say NO to us, we MUST always say NO to Pelosi, Reid, BHO and their corrupt communist party!!!!

    29. Pingback: CNN’s attack on Palin Wins VF’s Worst Socialist News Liar Of The Year « VotingFemale Speaks!

    30. Pingback: Very Important Action Alert! «

    31. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear TimG, Minneapolis MN,

      Bush did many things right; he did many things wrong. I will not defend or condemn him.

      But please do not compare the myriad of policy decisions and legislation that is going on right now with any other part of our history.

      What is now happening is unprecedented. It exceeds FDR's wildest dreams, Carter, and Clinton. JFK was a saint compared to this madness.

    32. Triska says:

      How can it be legal to compel Americans to purchase health insurance? How can it be Constitutional for people in one state to be treated more favorably than people in another state? What about unequal treatment under the law? For that matter, what law? These are LAWYERS twisting and perverting the law. Where are the courts on this? Watch out though, "cap and tax" is next in line. The congress needs to slow down, read the bills, and LISTEN to the CITIZENS.

    33. Pingback: The Obamanation That Will Bring Desolation « The Divine Lamp

    34. tina frost says:

      pack your bags harry,better yet you nancy and barry will all look good in orange.

    35. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Some sell their souls and some have no souls to sell. These we call Politicians. Dirty business, that somehow long ago the pride in serving as one left.

      We , as citizens need to bring that 'Pide" back for those who wish to serve as an elected Representative or a Senator. I would suggest two boundaries to enforce honesty; one, no attornys need apply. Anyone who has a degree in being able to effectively agrue both sides of a complaint, is of little use when compared to a Common Man who has the Strength of Heart to argue the convictions of the Citizens who elected him, for they are the self same as his own!

      The second limit would be tem limits. No individual should be placed under the strain of Washington DC corruption and pressure from single interest entities for any extended period of time and thus being seperated from family, friends and constituints.

    36. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Try as he might, even reid will not stop Hawaii from its efforts to become Sovereign. I do not at this minute know about the other States mentioned, but I do believe that this was his motive and it will fail.

    37. Liz, Las Vegas, NV says:

      One solution to this bribery by Senator Reid is for all other states to boycott the primary export or industry of those states who negotiated on the backs of taxpayers in all the other states. For example, cancel your trip to Mardi Gras and Hawaii. An impact to tourism is a sure fire way to get someones attention. Just ask Las Vegas after Obama initiated his boycott! Stop buying good and services from companies headquartered in states like Nebraska and Vermont. It would not take too long before the impact from lost revenues would turn the tide. Taxpayers are going to have to somehow take control of how our tax dollars are collected, at what rate and how they are allocated. Maybe the way to tax reform is through consumption decisions.

    38. David, Indiana says:

      It's now clear that it is time to begin impeachment proceedings on every member of the senate who voted for this crap. The house is next to go down, and then the President and Vice-President after that. HOW's THAT HOAX AND CHANGE WORKING FOR YOU AMERICA.

    39. Louis L Cesar F Levy says:

      No Panic but be sure to PUSH States and coalitions, tea parties and all Patriots to BRING THIS BILL TO JUSTICE AND KEEP IT THERE ENOUGH TO HELP THESE MAD POLITICIAN OUT BY 2010. That's all, with their UNTHINKABLE Plan. I know that most of us THINK THAT WE ARE DREAMING, and barely recognize America. In fact as I always stated, the subtlety of the Women adepts of Mind Control do not alter the results WE THE PEOPLE WILL IMPOSE for the sake, SAFEGUARD AND PROTECTION OF AMERICA. IF NECESSARY, BE READY FOR A SECOND REVOLUTION!

    40. DR - Orlando, FL says:

      Liz -

      Before we start with the states, we need to start with the media. Stop buying the goods of companies that support the alphabet govt. networks. Turn off their TV shows for even a week, and boycott their news! When the money leaves, the networks will start to fire the govt. lapdogs and hire real journalists again. It's a start that won't cost us anything but could help us win the first part of this war against govt. control of our lives. Then we can start recalling the crooks in Washington!

    41. Pingback: Will Bennet Stand Up For Transparency Or Embrace Backroom Deals? | Wrong for Colorado

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