“Any objective observer looking at this bill would say this is a middle-of-the-road, centrist approach to providing coverage to people and also to reducing cost,” Mr. Obama said. “I am frustrated that Republicans who had an opportunity to help shape this bill declined that opportunity.” – President Obama, on the “Today” show
Important to note that Pres. Obama thinks further codifying Hyde, as well as coddling the minority, is “middle-of-the-road” to today’s Democrats. No one should be surprised.
No legislator would ever condition his or her vote on earmarks. Not ever, right?
The Appropriations Committee deadline for requests was reportedly March 22nd. The rest is up for interpretation. So, Fox News is the only media outfit reporting this? Here’s their report:
The Sunlight Foundation says it plans to track the earmark requests, which were put in one day after health care reform cleared Congress, to see whether they’re approved and whether it appears lawmakers are being rewarded for their vote. [...]
The individual earmarks requests from each of those lawmakers range from $20 million to $1.4 billion. Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money than they did a year ago. Stupak requested $579 million.
Here are the earmark amounts requested by the 11 House Democrats in the 2011 bill:
Rep. Jerry Costello of Illinois.: $1,418.7 million ($256.4 million in 2010)
Rep. Solomon Ortiz of Texas: $618 million ($726.1 million in 2010)
Stupak of Michigan: $578.9 million
Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio: $332.2 million
Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio: $294 million ($305.7 million in 2010)
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania: $236.8 million ($54 million in 2010)
Rep. James Oberstar of Minnesota.: $207 million ($226 million in 2010)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana.: $115.4 million ($82.3 million in 2010)
Rep. Charles Wilson of Ohio: $84 million ($62.3 million in 2010)
Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania.: $67.1 million
Rep. Joseph Donnelly of Indiana: $19.8 million ($11.65 million in 2010)
There has also been a dust up over the sick children coverage loophole in the health care legislation.
[...] To insurance companies, the language of the law is not so clear. Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.
William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.” …
Kathleen Sebelius sent AHIP a letter saying the Administration would send out new guidelines so that they could comply by September. However, the reality is very clear, as I’ve talked about before. Having access to health care doesn’t mean the insurance will be affordable, which AHIP’s response hinted in their response. Via the Wall Street Journal:
AHIP said de-linking the requirement to insure sick children from the law’s mandate that everyone buy health-insurance coverage, which goes into effect in 2014, could drive up prices in the meantime. But the group said it would do whatever HHS tells it to do.
This is the first hint and salvo on pricing of the expanded coverage. Many more people will have access to health care, but that doesn’t mean they can afford it.
Democrats now have to go out and sell it. You’d think that wouldn’t be necessary after all of this time, but allowing the message to be hijacked last August, with Sarah Palin’s “death panels” the strongest salvo, continues to be costly.