October 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Lawmakers sticking "goodies" into health care bill for constituents?

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.

George writes:
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.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Pamela holt

    Foley, al. That is why the health reform is turning intova big joke.it"s time the american public realizes that we are being played like a fiddle and thrown around the room to whomever can strum the loudest. I think you hit the nail on the head, Jack, it"s time to clean house in the next elections...

    October 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  2. Jan from NJ

    I hope Obama keeps his promise to not sign bills with this stuff in them. I know my state needs things but now is not the time to spend money like that. We need money for essentials......for the common good. Any legislator that takes advantage of this healthcare bill ought to be voted out of office, no matter what party they come from.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  3. Gigi Oregon

    Not unless it is for everyone and I'd like just the facts please. No law should be longer than what could be written on a 9X13 sheet of paper and double spaced. Think of the money we would save...We could actually afford a health care for everyone. And cut taxes also.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  4. george

    The short answer in Washington – "if it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander". The problem remains the same – cost (and who is paying for it). There is no free lunch. Our representatives that are not fiscally responsible on behalf of their constituents should be voted out of office. People should ask themselves if more debt is the change they voted for.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  5. June Blackwell

    No, No, And No!! The whole problem with the legislative process is that it is anything but clean and straight forward. Everyone wants something for nothing, each legislator has their own agenda regardless of party affiliation. What we need is a Constitutional Convention to limit the amount of time an individual can serve in elected office. There are too many people serving in both houses now who seem to have forgotten how they got there and why they are there.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  6. Ken, Long Beach, CA

    Well I hope the constituents are actually American citizens rather that multi-billion dollar corporations.

    Its no longer capitalism in DC, its Corporatism.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  7. Jackie in Dallas

    NO, NO, NO!

    Lawmakers need to stop this practice, and it should be against the rules in both the House and Senate! I don't care what side of the aisle you are on, this is a rotten practice, that causes more problems for the passing of bills that anything else! It causes increased confusion about a bill, and can backfire in so many ways not good for anyone!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  8. Carol Auburndale, Fl

    Jack, No way should they put anything in the Health Care bill other the the bill itself. It is time for Washington to have 1 billl and a straight up or down vote. That would eliminate all the pork and add on's. This is too important to screw up.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    Where else can they stick'um?

    October 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  10. Katiec Pekin, IL

    No they should not.
    Imagine some feel it is the only chance they have to be re-elected.
    Keep in mind we are far from having the final health care plan.
    Hopefully this will all be straightened out.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  11. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    The short answer is 'NO' – the longer answer is 'HELL NO' – the reality, however, is the current crowd in Congress only cares about their own reelection & how much money they can raise from the recipients of these 'goodies.' Our only hope is the American voting public will wake up & take drastic measures: Stop a Crook & Reelect no Incumbent!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  12. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, I would say I'm disappointed but I expected this to happen. The biggest problem with our form of government is that we get Congressmen who put their constituents needs and desires above the needs of the country as a whole. Of course, they only do this when it doesn't conflict with lobbyists desires.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  13. A cynic in Dallas Tx.

    Well, they all do it -right or wrong.In Harry Reid's case, I don't think it will save his job.However, his support for the health care industry will likely help him get work with a nice lobbying firm later.Mr. Deeds, he is not.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  14. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Jack, I just happen to be a constituent and I don't want Senators Snowe and Collins giving me anything more than what they have themselves. That would be selfish and not the true American spirit.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  15. Kim - Blair, NE

    Only if they don't want it to pass!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  16. Ed from the Four Corners

    Sure, why not load the health care bill up with all sorts of perks for the senator's self interests. Between congress and wall street, regular folks (taxpayers, that is) just keep getting screwed over more and more each day.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  17. Dawn - Hawaii

    The Health Care legislation should be straight and clear across the board. No specific states should benefit. If state specific issues need to be addressed, they should be addressed in separate legislation. Further, the insurance industry anti-trust issue needs to be addressed. These companies should not be allowed to meet behind closed doors and "regulate" the industry! That's ridiculous and goes against the grain of how capitalism is supposed to work. Let them compete like every other industry!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  18. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    NO,Jack, it is just another in a long line of examples, of a nation that has lost it's moral compass!!! This bill, with the public option, would speak of a nation that emits a TRUE societal responsibility for the health of all it's citizens. The current status shows only a 'dog eat dog' mentality – PITY !!!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  19. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    I understand the cynism but are they goodies if it helps poorer people! Tell me why do we expect the overall healthcare bill to help equally all States? Already the reforms will provide increased protection but I wonder are the uninsured number divided equally per State and are all the poor people number also equally divided per State...that is also the reason for the public option it is to help all the uninsured and poorer people regardless of where they live or where they barely survive! The word Goodies is the same as Pork. When it was time to take care of business on the Washington Mall we yell Pork when in fact it would have put some people to work and some business selling their products on top of taking care of the image we offer to ourselves and to tourists. Every time I hear words such as goodies and pork I take a second hard look because we as a society keeps on judging selfishly while not thinking of the broader picture! In my book...I prefre to look at words such as Shared-Solidarity to construct a much better and broader picture of the nation!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Keith, New Hampshire

    No equality is what they should be focused on and thats that.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  21. Kim

    This is what could cause it to fail.
    Once again we are moving away from the big issue and piling on little perks.

    Did we not learn from the Stimulas Package?

    Why don't we limit the pork on these to a set percentage (less than 1 %) of the total amount. Then maybe we don't end up paying for it all of our lives.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  22. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    If the sausage makers of Washington are grinding out the pork it can only mean they are close to a vote. Good sausage has 1 part bullcrap 1 part pork, simmmer until the odor is overwhelming. Viola your four dollar pizza is now $2000.00

    October 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  23. Marie C.

    STOP!! For once can these little kids we elected play fair. Just pass a health care bill and don't add anything that does not apply to health care. If this is the only way they can get funding for their constituents, they don't need the money. Find another way!!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  24. Philly/PA

    Each senator and congress person was elected by their state. As a result, they should, without question, do what they can to help their state.
    However, their #1 priority is to cast every vote that is in the interest of the United States.
    Based on my comment, important votes, that involve all states (Our country) , should never include ear mark attachments.

    I am an independent but McCain had a saying that I found to be really good: Country First.

    Media, PA

    Media, PA

    October 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  25. Mary Jo

    Absolutely not, and if this is the only method by which Congress is able to pass ANY legislation, the President should be granted the power to delete these types of add-ons since he is elected by the entire country, not just one state. The country should then hold his feet to the fire to achieve change we can believe in. Yeah, yeah, I know. Pie in the sky and won't ever happen in my lifetime, nor his unfortunately!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  26. Page

    The way Oboma deals with defending our nation people our worried that our guard is down and may have to defend ourselves from home grown enemys...

    October 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  27. Marie C.

    STOP!! For once can these little kids we elected play fair. Just pass a health care bill and don't add anything that does not apply to health care. If this is the only way they can get funding for their constituents, they don't need the money. Find another way!!
    Zephyrhills, FL

    October 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  28. Kathleen

    Even though I am a Floridian, I don't think this is right. Why should some Americans get a better deal than others? It should be "universal" across the U.S.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  29. Cindy Shamokin Pennsylvania

    Absolutely not. If there are to be benefits, they should benefit us all.

    The corruption and avarice of Congress is playing out again even it such a challenging and difficult issue. It just proves that these people are not serving us. They are steadfastly focused on serving up the benefits to themselves.

    Soon our legislative leaders will be as openly corrupt as those in Afghanistan and Mexico.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  30. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    We don't want any "goodies" we want Healthcare for all who need it, Healthcare Reform, with a Public Option!

    Sadly, some people do not know what "Public Option" means! Public Option would be similar to Medicare & Medicaid, a Healthcare program from the government for the people.

    Public Option is important, to ensure there is plenty of competition, and we, the People, get a break!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  31. Ken in NC

    NO. Not only no but HELL NO. We want a health care bill and not a law filled with pork where congress will be coming to every year to make changes to so their voters will get more benefits than the next congressman.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  32. a.c. of La.

    Yea it should be equal among the states......

    October 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  33. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Jack, on Congress and the voters can punish its members. Fat chance of either of those happenning.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  34. Kerry Diehl

    Not without absolute transparency and honesty as to who included the "PORK". There then needs to be a long enough period of time for ALL OF US to read and understand the bill as well before craming it down our throats.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  35. Bruce - Delaware

    No but things are so out of control in the district of Corruption there is really no hope...

    October 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  36. Jane (Minnesota)


    This crap really bugs me – both sides are equally to blame for it too. I really would like to see a public option that allows Americans to vote to eliminate the US Senate since "deal making" is the only way to get legislation through the Senate. C'mon, senators – unless it's a constitutional vote lets get back to simple majority rules & eliminate this crap!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  37. Dee now in GA

    What? Poloiticians might include "pork"? That's new?

    October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  38. Kerry Diehl

    Not without absolute transparency and honesty as to who included the "PORK". There then needs to be a long enough period of time for ALL OF US to read and understand the bill as well before craming it down our throats.

    (Perhaps this question goes hand in hand with your first question this evening regarding having why we fear having our guns taken away???)

    October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  39. David A Whitaker

    Jack this is the problem with the health care system now people sticking it to the consumers. I think people are getting tired of being sticked.


    Martinsburg, WV

    October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  40. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Why not?? As long as the goodies go to the citizens and not the lawmakers, it sounds fine to me. A lot of good does come from those goodies to local communities.
    Only ban them if, for instance, they are study the mating habits of turtles.You know what I mean.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  41. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    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.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  42. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    That's the problem. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Let's get health care reform passed NOW with a vialbe public option – I'd prefer letting people buy their insurance through Medicare.
    A few weeks ago, every one was worried about the power of Czars. Maybe Obama needs to appoint a few czars to draft needed legisltation like health care and by-pass the corruprt through a nuclear option. Or perhaps legislation should be drafted by a Democratic caucus (Forget about the Republicans. They have nothing to offer except name-calling and death threats.)
    But we need to get health care passed now.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  43. Sly, from Michigan

    What a joke these politicians are if that's what they're doing.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  44. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Jack, this question has a simple answer – NO! Nothing more needs to be said.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  45. Karen, TN

    No, but they'll keep trying. That's what gets them elected.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  46. Will


    October 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  47. Dennis North Carolina

    no, just health care

    October 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  48. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Let me put it this way All of Congress is totally corrupt to the core, they know we are broke, so instead of doing what is best for the country, or our economy, and our children's future, they are trying to do what is best to keep themselves in office yet again! This is why the U.S. is circling the toilet bowl, We are currently borrowing 500 million per day from foreign countries across the world. And yet we still call ourselves the riches nation in the world, and we are still sending money to other nations when we ourselves are broke, this is down right dumb!

    The term Dumb American has now been fully defines, so get use to it being used over and over again! You Dumb Americans! By the way I am American too!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Peter M

    No, they should not. Those who do, are corrupt and should be thrown out of public office. They should be fired...

    October 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  50. Tom in Iowa

    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.

    Tom in Iowa

    October 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  51. Colin Buckingham

    My answer is no, no, no and no. And just in case I wasn't clear enough I meant "NO"!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  52. Braxton, Charlotte, NC

    Jack, why are you asking this question now? Lawmakers having been doing this kinda crap for years. What makes it any more or less acceptable now

    October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  53. Ron Ouellette

    The answer to this is simple, NO NO NO, NADA, ZILCH now that
    should answer that question.
    Ron – Florida

    October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  54. Doug

    NO – Thats all there is to say !

    October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  55. Stephen Fox

    NO! This is part of what is wrong with Washington DC and American politics. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours–let's make a *deal* on the lives of Americans?

    Not so long ago, I created a list of ten things I would do as President, and one of them was this:

    Create a Constitutional Amendment forcing Congress to deal with "One-Context-Only bills". It would be illegal for Congress to tack-on "earmarks", other bills or provisions that didn't bear the same context as the bill in question. There would be no more health care bills with sections about saving the everglades; no more WAR bills that gives money for studying snails, etc., streamlining the way bills are done. All would know who voted for what, who was for or against something. There would be a great reduction in sweeteners, deals and favors in Congress. The President wouldn't have to threaten veto so much because some *other* provision or clause was in the bill he was to sign.

    –Stephen Fox
    Callaway, Florida

    October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm so sick of the Senate. Like you said in the first hour, Jack, we need to vote them out. People are losing their jobs, homes, and lives, and these guys want to add "goodies" into a bill that should have been a fundamental right for every one of us decades ago.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  57. Nick D. Neighbour

    Remind me. This IS called the "UNITED" States. RIGHT?
    Pasadena. CA.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  58. RickinLA

    Where have all the Patriots gone? You know, the people who want to do what's right for the United States of America. Not to New York, Florida or Nevada, that's for damn sure!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  59. Jason Mah

    Well of course not it's not right to give goodies to your consituites. However, this is a better cause then bribing people with the idea of cheap gas if they support the invasion of iraq. Or support the invasion of iraq with the idea of creating an example of democracy in the middle east. Or that invadiing iraq, they could control millions of barrels of oil.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  60. Reid

    Congress has no creditbility. None. It amazes me that they appear not to care......

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  61. Jim

    Please don't ever confuse politics with governing.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  62. Danny from Grundy, VA

    Absolutely not, Jack. But not just in the health care bill, but in any bill. Congresspersons hold a NATIONAL office; they are supposed to serve the people of the nation, not their states or districts. When a nation is in as much debt as we are, pork should have no place in any piece of legislation. President Obama should take the same vow that Sen. McCain did in his campaign and veto any bill that has pork in it.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  63. June

    Of course not but is anyone surprised that they are doing it. it happens with every bill. The stimulus bill became a pork barrel bill. But what can we expect from these hogs in Washington.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  64. george green

    Yes they should be allowed to help thier voters..american as apple pie

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Sarah Kutzler

    This is what is wrong with America! We are selfish and all of our options for voting are selfish, dirty politicians always looking out for themselves. The reason that any one of these politicians even thinks about "goodies" for their constituents is to make themselves look better to their voters. Between the "goodies" and the lobbying nobody in legislature is actually working for the people of this country.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  66. Eric S. Dean

    NO! Absolutely not! This is like the national parks bill that includes provisions for handguns. Obama should make it law that any bill presented to congress may only contain one related subject matter. If the 1500 page healthcare bill covered only one topic "Healthcare / Health Insurance Reform" it would probably be only 500 pages long!
    1 bill – 1 topic, period!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Drell Goff

    The best bumper sticker I have seen yet reads:


    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  68. Alex

    This is ridiculous....no way that I can see this makes any sense. The process needs to be fair across the board. This is the same old game.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |

    What do you expect from someone who spends millions to get a job paying less than $200,000. Jack, If a politician won't work, he'll lie, and steal!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Sandra Carpenter

    For anyone currently receiving Medicare to actually be able to read the health care bill, a speed reading course should be offered.

    No! do not add goodies to the health care bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  71. Peter Smith

    Jack, What if every congressional bill HAD to be read over by a panel of 12 people from the District of Columbia. The service would function like Jury duty. There could be one congressional aid or bill writer in the room to try to explain some things to them, the things that were to confusing would have to be changed until they were. What if we had a government the American people could understand. Imagine if CNN could interview AVERAGE citizens who have just had entire bills explained thoroughly to them by aids until it was clear, what a concept! Loved the Book

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  72. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    As far as I'm concerned now they can take this health care bill and shove it up their butt, It has turned out to be a damn joke and the American taxpayer will get to foot the bill for helping make the insurance companies a lot of damn money while the people loose again, what we need to do is vote all these worthless jerks out of office and elect someone with the IQ of Bush or Palin, about twenty five, would beat the average IQ of the ones in office now which is about twelve point five.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  73. Mia S.

    Of course they should. If you aren't getting any "goodies" elect a better representative to actually represent YOU. Better yet, pay attention to local and state government who can provide you with REAL services not just funding!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  74. L.F. Rennie

    Here's a big fat "NO"......and while we're at it, can we please just get rid of Harry Reid!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  75. peggy

    Perks? What's new? Its disgusting whether Democrat or GOP but its also business as usual. The politicans don't give a rats you-know-what about the ordinary man. The Corporations, lobby groups, their own slush funds take precedence. Get real folks, this Health Care is a golden gift to the Insurance industry who are in charge.
    Peggy in New Bern, North Carolina

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  76. Le Roy Donnelly

    Regarding health care. Every State should be equal.All politicians should have the same insurance as the people. Nothing special for them. Were all equal.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  77. Ray King


    The only thing they should be able to "stick", is the entire 1500 pages
    you-know-where !

    Ray King
    Metamora IL

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  78. Gary Lee Las Vegas

    Jack, if i were to say where lawmakers should stick something, i doubt if it would be allowed on your show. These morons have been bought and sold by one group or another, It makes me sad to think what our forefathers would think if they were alive today!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  79. Dan D.

    Doe anyone remember the bridge to nowhere?stop with the goodies people

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  80. Leslie, from Tampa, FL

    The healthcare bill is supposed to be for the ENTIRE nation, so if any "goodies" are put into it, those goodies should benefit all Americans, regardless of what state they live in.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  81. Ray Barrington

    Most definately no. But then we keep voting for these people. Remember – Bad public officials are elected by Good Citizens who DON'T VOTE.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  82. John Kelley

    I wish Americans would spend some time to read their countries history and note that sticking goodies into a bill has its origins at the beginning of the United States. Its part of human nature and part of the political process.
    If this did not take place all legislation would be very brittle and fall apart with no support from our representatives. Its part of the Democratic, or political process. Get use to it!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  83. JM Leone

    No, plain and simple. Health care is too important, a basic human right, to be used for anyone's personal agenda. I think it is sad that Americans will literally damn their neighbors to death in order to save a few dollars for themselves.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  84. Harvey--- Texas

    Jack, I watch you everyday. You tell it like it is. I get really bent if something happens and I miss the Cafferty File. Keep up the good work.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  85. George Smith

    Lawmakers should make the laws apply equally to all states. I am sick and tired of partisan politics for constituants. We have the best politicians that money can buy – for sure. Throw the rascals out. My friends in Las Vegas are all voting against dirty Harry and actively working to influence others to do the same – good riddance Harry!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  86. James Richmond, VA

    Lawmakers should ABSOLUTELY NOT be allowed to stick "goodies" into the health care bill for their constituents. All men are created equal, huh? When does the revolution start? I’m ready.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  87. Victor

    Absolutely not. I'm calling for a national referrendum to require IQ tests for all members of Congress. That is the only way to confirm whether they're actually stupid or just crooked.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  88. Luwanna Guysville Ohio


    bills should be about the subject at hand not all the 'goodies' the politicians can get for their respective voters. Between the lobbyists, back door politics, closed door politics, and just good old fashioned corruption... it is any wonder that our government works at all. Then again... maybe it doesn't and that's the problem.

    Why can't they just write a bill that says everyone gets health care, Medicare/Medicaid will cover those who can't afford it, and those making more than 250K dollars a year (individuals not small businesses) will pay their fair share in taxes to pay for it. Insurance companies can't exclude or drop and they can't collude with each other to keep prices high.

    There you go, one paragraph that covers the essentials of healthcare reform. I'll be running for office as soon as I get all those signatures, fill out the papers and get voter support.

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    October 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  89. Herb stofsky

    Of course its not right . Looks like the democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans. Try not to be so angry/ the're not worth it.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  90. Carole

    In one work NO. And thank you Mr. Cafferty for letting the public know
    about this latest goodie.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  91. R.M. Burgoyne

    No....Hell NO!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  92. Fred Kahn Liberty, N.Y.

    Not only should lawmakers "NOT" be allowed to add goodies to the healthcare bill but every lawmaker that has ever taken a dime from any lobbist should be arrested on bribery and extortion charges.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  93. Michael n Seattle

    Why not add things that please the people that put you in office. Is that really a crime?after all the democrats are in the majority so they can do as they want ,don't you recall the republicans when they were in majority, I realise that it was along time ago but they stuffed every bill with their little goodies.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  94. Marilyn Fehr

    I absolutely do not think that Senators or Representatives should be allowed to add any 'pork' into a law / bill. I think that our Representatives should not have built in benefits – health care, etc. If they had to accept what they have us accept – they would not want to be in office.

    I think that the American people should mandate that all Senators, Representatives, Cabinet officers, and our President should be sent into the war zone with a rifle – no other support. Let them decide what is apprpriate for the American people.

    They should not have automatic pay increases nor paid for benefits. We need a revolution.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  95. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I spent time today browsing through the health care bill that is now on-line, but bogged down as I read where paragraph A(1) of some bill already on the books has been changed to read 'new ratsuresnatcher health mandate" in place of "non-conforming less substinative ratsuresnatcher phenosends". The current Congress remind me of college professors who confound students with puzzling verbage as a coverup for their own lack of knowldege of the subject. There could be damn near anything in the 1,500 pages of this bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Jim in Phoenix

    Looks like it is business as usual in Washington. I have given up caring about it. I am just waiting for the huge collapse that is sure to come.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Tim in Texas

    Make sure you get the facts straight first, Jack. The extra help with medicaid is for all States, not just Nevada, that have high levels of low income people - otherwise an undue burden would be placed on those states (usually primarily rural) where the additional people able to get Medicaid would be added. As far as it being Democrats attempting to get additional benefits - it was Orrin Hatch that introduced an amendment that "All States that begin with the letter 'U'" should get reimbursements. One thing that should be noted in this discussion is that 8 out of the top 10 States that receive the greatest amounts of federal dollars - more than what they put in in State dollars - are 'red' states. All of the top ten states that pay in more in state dollars and get less are "blue" States - with New Jersey topping the list.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It is way past time for line item veto to be put in place.
    Course, the republicans will never allow that.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Susan - Corona, CA


    Over 10 years ago when Taiwan first introduced the government runs healthcare program, the fights were just as bad as it is here...Now, Taiwan has the best healthcare program in the world – afforadable for every citizen with good quality of care. Of course, human factors are in every business..greedy healthcare providers, some wrong-minds manipulates the system...hey it's better to see everyone get taken care of when needed then being suck up by the drug manufacturers and lobbying groups and watching people dying without help here....

    Susan – Corona, CA

    October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  100. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Politics as usual. Politicians are all talk when it comes to eliminating waste and creating an even playing field, but that only applies to campaign-trail BS. In the end they are all selfish, power-hungry, bafoons only interested in furthering their favorite cause...themselves.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Rick Richardson

    NO!! Actions taken by politicians the likes of Harry Reid are why Americans do not trust Washington. First they protect themselves by exempting themselves from the health care bill then they provide special considerations to those who can elect them without any remorse of wrong doing of any kind. What happen to "WE are going to clean up Washington." Washington as a whole is more corrupt today than ever.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  102. jake d in los angeles

    Congressmen sticking goodies into health care legislation is business as usual and a prime reason the government should not be trying to run the healthcare business. These guys are more greedy than the insurance companies and more corrupt than the mob. They should reform their own business before they try to reform somoene else's.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Susan - Corona, CA


    I will do the packing right now. Please direct me which state I should be moving to.....

    Corona, CA

    October 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  104. BAM in Maine

    For once I agree with the republicans. Are the Medicare recipients in Nevada any more needy than those in Maine or any other state? I don't think so. The good news is that Harry Reid is likely in his last term – we've tolerated enough foolish politicians. The "goodie" in this is that he'll be gone.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  105. Roland-St George,UT

    Congress should go without health care until every American is covered. Period.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  106. donna

    Why is everybody talking and getting upset over healthcare? If people
    are not working they can not afford healthcare. So it doesn't manner
    how much it costs the employee or the employer. Obama should
    concentrate on getting people back to work, before worrying about
    healthcare. If you are unemployed it doesn't manner what kind of
    healthcare is offered, if you can't afford it. We can critize Bush all we want but as it was said on CNN during his term he had the lowest un-
    ployment rate. I believe your station said that unemployment rate is
    over 10% and still climbing. Let's get people back to work before we
    worry about healthcare, guns or even taking three vacations with our
    family (like Obama did). We need JOB, JOBS,JOBS.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  107. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    "Goodies" are what drives our society. Our representatives in Congress function, in many ways, as distibutors of stuff in exchange for votes to get them re-elected. Being re-elected is the primary incentive so if a politican can be seen as a deliverer of "goodies" then the folks at home are happy to provide a return ticket to Washington. An equitable distribution of benefits to Americans across the Nation is not even a consideration.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  108. JoEllyn Martin

    Could Congress be comprised of any more yahoos? Putting "goodies" in the healthcare bill is borderline unethical and outright wrong. Why doesn't Congress worry about something else besides lining their own pockets? Give us a break - if all they care about are their own interests, then find another job. Or did they forget that they WORK for us???

    October 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  109. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Jack do you meen goodys or pork.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Joyce S

    I am so upset with these loonies.What we need is a "Term Limits" These old men and women don't know what they are doing....they just love to hear themselves talk...They know that come this NOVEMBER there will be real changes. They will try anything to stay in office and they think by putting in their earmarks for their districts will keep them in office.....Our wonderful Democracy has turned into an anarchy...

    October 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  111. Citizen

    Why are you (Jack) surprised by this? That is all Congress has ever done - they take care of themselves and those who contribute to their campaigns. They don't care about America as a whole - it is all about what they can get for themselves and if it comes at a cost to the American taxpayer well isn't that what we're for?

    Term limits might help solve this problem, but until we have real statesmen and leaders America is going to be bogged down with the Reids and the Pelosis who put their own self-interest before the nation as a whole.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  112. John Schilling

    Helping their constituents is one thing. Having the rest of us pay for it is somethiing else. Nada!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  113. elizabeth from alabama

    NO!!!! As a senior who is trying to get by on Social Security and Medicare along with an " advantage plan" I say HELP! In trying to read what is published on the purposed Health Care Reform, my brain feels fried. If this current effort at reform is to be successful, then we need no "goodies". We need honest efforts to level the playing field so that all citizens will benefit from any changes in the way Health Care is delivered to everybody whether they are five or sixty five.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  114. eco_delsol

    No. Congress is an embarrassment to all logical thinking citizens. This 111th is the most corrupt Congress ever. It fits well with our current Administration. Same old Political Dance.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  115. Richard, Kankakee, IL.


    Patriots were ran out of the country, when the Republicans came up with the term you are either with us of the Terrorist! A Patriots use to be a person who would tell the truth about what is wrong with our country, but now we are only called Non-American!

    Now Telling the truth is a lie, and telling a lie is being American, welcome to the new America!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  116. Andy V.

    Absolutely not! Lawmakers love to stick "goodies" (a.k.a. earmarks) into bills so they can satisfy their constituents, and encourage them to re-elect their members of Congress in the process. We are in a recession, so we obviously cannot afford to spend unnecessary amounts of money! It would be ridiculous to let Congress insert millions (or even billions) of dollars worth of pork-barrel spending into the healthcare reform bill, like they did with the stimulus package. As a resident of Nashville, TN, I am very fortunate that my congressman, Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee's 5th district, abstains from making earmark requests. Rep. Cooper is one of the most fiscally conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, and one of the few House members of either party that has sworn off earmarks entirely. I feel very fortunate that my congressman is not intent on wasting American taxpayers' money on pet projects, and is instead focused on passing health insurance reform legislation that doesn't add to the deficit.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  117. AJ Feit

    Good evening, Jack.

    Absolutely not. We elect representatives in our democracy to use authority responsibly to benefit all – not in groups of any size. In this case, a universal *minimum* standard of health care that is more in liine with our status as a supposed developed country as well as our share of global GDP is our goal – not further entrenching state-level mini-monarchies.

    Get real, Reid – it's a job, not a career. You serve at the peoples' pleasure, and I guarantee that approval ratings in the 30's have 'displeased' prominently displayed for *your* reading pleasure. The baby boomers, and certainly my generation have got one hell of a mess on our hands, but won't abandon Democracy yet.

    Sunny Isles Beach, FL by way of Oakland, CA

    October 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  118. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY


    No homestate discounts should be inserted into the Health care bill, unless within the bill is a counterbalancing provision for term limits and strict campaign finance reform.
    Since, our Representatives readily admit to not reading their own legislation, maybe an unjaundiced summer intern who still idealizes democracy can be coaxed to insert it while the Senators are off enjoying yet another taxpayer-funded perk.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  119. Bill Christian

    Jack: Why not? That's what they were elected to do. If we want fairness then we need a socialist or ommunist system where the government makes decisions for the good "of the state". Which means the only people to reap any benefit are the bureaucrats and their lackeys. Oh, wait, isn't that what's going on now?

    October 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  120. Citizen

    The short answer is "NO" It is time to streamline legislation and prohibit these obscene pork barrel items from any legislation.

    What happened to Obama's promise of transparency in government? Aren't the Democratic leaders meeting behind closed doors to craft this obnoxiously lengthly piece of legislation? It's same old same old in Washington.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  121. Angela Galindo

    NO!!! Our legislators have not yet figured it out. If they cannot get this healthcare reform bill right, they will be out the door next election. This bill must address the power the healthcare insurance and pharmaceutical companies have. I do Medical Billing. The way some claims are adjudicated and appeals processed is an insult to one's intelligence. These companies will do what they can to delay/deny payment. But wait, look at all the dollars paid to campaign funds by the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists! And we think our legislators are going to create a bill to help their constituents? Not in this lifetime. They write these bills and make it so lengthy and difficult to understand so they can pad it with what they want. Next election they will realize the American people have had enough.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  122. Pat Evans

    Dear Jack, Last year, I was fired from my job for having Cancer! Then my Insurance was abruptly cancelled in the spring, right after I paid off my $3500. deductable and right before I was supposed to have a proceedure done to see if my Cancer was coming back! And now I'm receiving medecal bills from 8 months ago, that I can't pay! And all Harry Reid has done for me is limit my recreational opportunities in the National Forests even further when he rammed threw the Omnibus bill in the middle of the night! If anyone needs Medical Insurance Reform, it's me!!! But I will be voting for whoever has the best chance of beating Harry Reid! He's a pompus,arogant S.O.B. and his time has come! It's time to retire to the Ranch, Harry! Do you hear that rumbling? It's a stampede to the ballot box! P.E. Reno, NV.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  123. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    YES, it is called let make a deal.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  124. Ed Varchal

    Hide and Sneak is the Congress's favorite game and who can argue that they are not experts at the game.

    Healthcare costs will be 3 Trillion, one achieved piece of of pork at a time. Hide and Sneak – the tried and true process.
    Ed in Melbourne, FL

    October 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  125. Gary

    Gee Jack, do you wonder why we conservatives are questioning the Administration and the Democrats in Congress on the healthcare reform bill. Why doesn't the mainstream media report on these abuses of power. You must wonder why we have tea parties, townhall meetings, etc., this is outrageous. We need the throw all of these politicans out of office, beginning with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  126. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Amend the Constitution First! All this kind of crap will go away. "All United States Citizens shall have access to affordable and nondebtable heath care..." Let our officials swear an oath to that. Until the constitution is ammended, nothing can possibly get done that makes any finacial sense. Look at all those Billions that the Wall Street bigshots got and where in heavens name has that gotten us!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  127. Jack Frampton

    As a democrat and someone who voted for Obama in hopes that some day we would get health care reform I am now very disappointed with the whole process again. I was counting on Obama to fix problems we have with special interest groups/lobbyist, his own party members taking advantage of the American people as a whole by taking care of their own states special interests. The rich republican base doesn't want anyone without money to have life a little bit better by having some form of health care and it looks like they are winning again. The line item veto used to work and that is why it doesn't exist anymore. I believe term limits will help the whole system. A four-year term should be 2 years in office and two years in prison.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  128. Jim Vicalvi-Sturgis,MI

    They shouldn't have a final vote until after the elections next year. Does this really surprise anyone? Even the diehard liberal democrats? We will see how "transparent" obama is. If he drops the ball-IMPEACH HIM!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  129. Jerry Gorsuch

    Qf course not, Jack, None of the congressmen should be allowed to put their own preferences. Except, of course, my congressman and my senators, because they do such a great job.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  130. vance kincade


    I thought this was reform. Like everything else in the Obama administration it is business as usual. Congress will add their pork and will make healthcare more expensive and less effective than it is today. If Obama had any guts, he would stop the process right now and begin again with some basic reforms that will benefit people in all 50 states and not NV, CA, NY, and FL.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  131. T from Brea

    Let's not kid ourselves;politicians are put in their offices to bring home the bacon to those in which they represent. If they don't they will be voted out. That is reality and I accept that. With tha being said I do think the health care bill should be left alone and free of pork. There are many more bills to put pork in. Leave this bill alone. It is difficult enough to sift through the relevant facts of this bill, let alone hiding pork inside it!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  132. gerald trimble

    President Obama said he would NOT sign a bill containing Earmarks. The budget and the stimulus bill was LOADED with Earmarks. Why on earth would anyone think the health bill would be any different! It will be loaded with earmarks and concessions to special interest groups.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  133. David in Raleigh, NC

    After the $787 pork spending bill that is masquerading as a stimulus package, nobody should be surprised that they are adding pork spending projects to the health care bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  134. Bob Huckeba, Marietta, Ga.

    I am steaming mad about Senator Harry Reed saying do as I say do and not what I do. His exception of protection from the Health Reform rules for his special Interest Group makes me sick. He should be thrown out of Congress. Just another example of why we need a NEW GENERATION in Congress and term limits on all of Congress. Let do it NOW. Harry Reed GO HOME.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  135. Dawna Carroll

    Want PORK for your state? Then let's start creating state by state "PORK" bills and let the house and senate vote on those porky issues. Keep the PORK out of everything else!!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  136. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    Jack here is what will be the "TRUE TESTIMATE" of the Republican Party. If they truly disapprove of the contents of this Health Care bill, then we should not see any "PORK PROJECTS" in it from any republican who is going to vote no on the bill. Let see.....

    October 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  137. Cathy Patterns

    Jack these were in the Baucus bill. Let's not get bent out of shape until the complete Senate bills have been merged–there's another one that will change the Baucus bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  138. Bruce from Newport Beach, CA

    Absolutely no. The reform bill should be something that benefits as many voters as possible. The public option would benefit everyone because private insurers would end their abuses or lose customers to the new competition.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |