FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
When it comes to health care reform - it shouldn't be surprising that our lawmakers are up to their same old tricks. Bloomberg News reports that Senate Democrats are making exceptions to the health care legislation to benefit their constituents, trying to protect the people who keep them in office from measures that will actually pay for the more than $800 billion reform.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Let someone else's constituents pay for it - right? For example, Majority Leader Harry Reid's home state of Nevada would get help with its Medicaid bills, seniors in Florida and New York would get extra Medicare benefits, and those in high-risk professions like firefighters or construction workers would get a break on the tax on expensive insurance plans.
Republicans say these provisions should be applied equally to all 50 states; they say the exceptions will "hurt the bill and raise the level of cynicism about Washington politics."
But Democrats are anything but contrite. Reid - whose job approval rating in his own state stands at a whopping 35 percent - says, "I make absolutely no apologies - none - for helping people in my state."
The language in the Senate finance bill is also so convoluted at some points that even congressional aides say they don't know what it means...
For example - When describing Medicare changes, those eligible for extra funds include retirees in "counties where the Medicare Advantage benchmark amount in 2011 is equal to the legacy urban floor amount." Who writes this crap?
Here’s my question to you: Should lawmakers be allowed to stick "goodies" into the health care bill for their constituents?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jeff from Virginia writes:
No, no, no. If they want to pass a health care bill, it has to be exactly the same for everyone. It should not matter if you are in "Nancy's" or "Harry's" or "Baucus'" voting district.
John from Watertown, Massachusetts writes:
They are "allowed" to do anything they want because their constituents elect them to take care of them. We can only blame ourselves for indirectly telling them that anything they do in our name is just fine. Politicians will promise to build bridges even when there is no water.
Yes, they should be allowed to help their voters. That’s as American as apple pie.
Gail from Plano, Texas writes:
Business as usual, Jack! The Republicans are right on this one. All states should be treated equally. As far as the wording of the bill that you cited, it is smoke and mirrors so we will not know what the Congress is doing. No matter which side of the aisle they are sitting on, both parties serve only one God: themselves.
Kim from Minneapolis writes:
Damn, I really want this health care bill to pass with a public option, however this is the type of behavior that makes Middle America outraged with the antics of politicians.
David from Martinsburg, West Virginia writes:
Jack, This is the problem with the health care system: Now lawmakers are sticking it to the consumers. I think people are getting tired of being sticked.
Tom from Iowa writes:
Jack, I say let the lawmakers stick all the goodies into the bill they want, then when they are done with the bill they can stick it... Well, I am sure you can see where this is going. Pun intended.