The Senate Democrats unknowingly outfoxed themselves on ObamaCare. When Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) didn’t have enough votes to pass the Omnibus appropriations bill Dec. 16, he removed it from Senate action. But in doing so, he, in effect, killed more than $1 billion in funding for ObamaCare.
The immense year-end, pork-laden Omnibus bill had $8.3 billion to pay for 6,714 earmarks, according to a tabulation by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla). The hateful earmarks were such an embarrassment that Reid had bowed to Republican opposition plus public outcry and pulled the bill off the Senate floor.
The bill was a staggering 1,924 pages with $1.2 billion in spending. But in the muddle of attempting to enact a sweeping package of far-Left legislation in the Lame-duck session of Congress, apparently no one whispered in Harry’s ear that more than $1 billion in grants to ObamaCare bureaucracy were being washed into the sewer of mistaken dreams.
Some $80.7 billion in the Health and Human Services Department’s management account were wiped out. The money would have been used to enforce the mandates for Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine. The constitutionality of the mandate concept is now being fought over in the courts.
An increase of $175.9 million in the management account for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) disappeared. It was to be used to put into effect the Medicaid expansion encompassing 32 million people. Those making less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level would get subsidies to help them buy health care under that portion of the Act.