Government Bytes


"Security and Progress of the Nation"

by Dan Barrett / /

The healthcare reform debate in the US House chamber continues to be a merry-go-round of parliamentary procedure questions, stories of trials and tribulations from constituents, and bill implementations. After a 13 hour day spent on Saturday, the House reconvened for a greatly anticipated and protested vote.

A significant debate arose from whether the earmarks included in the Senate bill would also be in the Reconciliation Bill. Republicans were largely stonewalled by House Democrats in getting an answer. While House Rules Chairwoman Slaughter said there is no individual state receiving special treatment through the Reconciliation Bill, Representative Issa of California then replied, “a bribe for one will turn into a bribe for many.” Here are some examples of the earmarks going into the bill supposedly dedicated to American ideals:

  • The Louisiana Purchase: Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster…during the preceding 7 fiscal years” which only includes the state of Louisiana. COST: $100 million
  • The Bismarck Bank Job: Allowing the Bank of North Dakota and the US Government to be the sole issuers of student loans. COST: $13.6 billion (increased Pell Grants)
  • Tennessee Hospitals: Justified as compensation for “Disproportionate Share Hospitals” in 2012 and 2013 only for that state. COST: $100 million
  • University of Connecticut Hospital: Expanding the large hospital earlier claimed “it doesn’t have to be in any particular bill.” COST: $100 million
  • $1,000 for every Vermonter: Additional Medicaid funding will guarantee $1,000 for every citizen in Vermont. COST: $600 million

The list goes on and on and more earmarks can be found in Representative Pitts of Pennsylvania’s article in the Daily Caller and in Representative Shadegg of Arizona’s handout.

Also, check out a simplified comparison chart of the original Senate and House bills, President Obama's proposal, and the newly released Reconciliation Bill.

If supporters of healthcare reform feel the bill before the House of Representatives is upstanding, transparent, and helps America move in a freer, more prosperous direction, they will not vote on such a bill that is riddled with reckless spending earmarks and state bribes.