I'm disgusted to the point of being ill.
The flat out political bribe given to Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb) to get his support for the Senate Health Care Bill stinks. It is a stark example of why people hate politics. In the end, it will hurt health care and it will hurt the public's confidence in Congress and all office holders.
Most of all, this shameless political bribe is self-destructive to the Democratic Party. Whether or not health care passes, this "deal" severely damages the view of Independents and even some Democrats that the Democratic Party is capable of providing courageous leadership rather than playing self-serving politics.
If you don't know, Nelson pressured his way into getting Sen Leader Harry Reid to agree to the
federal government paying for ALL of the increases in Medicaid called
for by the bill for a single state -- Nelson's Nebraska. It should
insure Ben's reelection by Husker Nation. But it will be
an issue for every Democrat running for office, and will help drag down
many Democrats in both the Senate and the House.
If I'm a GOP ad-maker, I am already working on ads that show Ben Nelson and Harry Reid, with big block letters flashing on the screen. "To get Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson's vote, Democrats agreed that the people of 49 states will pay Nebraska's medicade FOR EVER! Democrats call this leadership. We call it something else. Vote Republican."
Sometimes you just have to say NO. And Harry Reid should have said exactly that.
I'm a pragmatist. As much as I think we desperately need health care reform, and as willing as I would be to swallow hard and support a watered-down version to get some positive needed reforms (coverage of pre-existing conditions, for example), I can't support outright bribery to get the job done.
Damage is already done. I hope the Senate doesn't make it worse by passing a bill with such obvious political pork.