The notion that the House
will not be accepting the Senate bill when it votes on it is a fiction.
President Barack Obama says he wants projects helping specific states yanked from the health care bill Congress is writing. Democratic senators, being senators, beg to differ.
The Senate-approved health measure lawmakers hope to send to Obama soon would steer $600 million over the next decade to Vermont in added federal payments for Medicaid and nearly as much to Massachusetts.
Connecticut would get $100 million to build a hospital. About 800,000 Florida seniors could keep certain Medicare benefits. Asbestos-disease victims in tiny Libby, Mont., and some coal miners with black lung disease or their widows would get help, and there are prizes for Louisiana, the Dakotas and more states.
"We're going to do what we have to do to get a bill out of the House and Senate," said James Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. As for Obama's wish list of deletions: "We'll certainly keep it in mind as we pull together a final bill."
That tepid salute underscores the prickliness with which many senators have greeted what they consider Obama's meddling in their business and raises questions about how successful the president will be in erasing the special projects from final legislation. . . .
Labels: Democrats, healthcare, ObamaAdministration