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.
From the Prevention and Public Health “slush fund” of $175.9 million would disappear as if by magic, but really by mistake. Harry you have to be more careful with your lunges on the Progressive fast track.
Money also is gone for the National Health Care Workforce Commission, one of the more than 159 different boards, agencies and bureaucracies set up under what the Democrats love to call the Affordable Care Act, which, of course, it isn’t.
The cost of cutting back and changing the popular Medicare Advantage plans also was included in the omnibus bill, which some Republicans were labeling the “ominous” bill.
When the omnibus appropriations bill is taken up again, the members of Congress elected in November will be in solid control of the House. In the Senate, the Democrat majority will be much slimmer.
The government already is operating on a temporary stopgap measure, which was due to expire at the end of Dec. 17. Sen. Reid said he would work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) on another measure which would run through the early part of next year, he New York Times.com reported.
Republicans had threatened to read the entire bill on the floor of the Senate, which must have sent a shock wave through Reid’s inners. I would have taken approximately 40 hours of reading.
“They’re not going to support this legislation,” Harry said mournfully. Are we going to help people in America?” He added, “The answer appears that it’s going to be no.” An obvious “no” to the pork-stuffed bill, a no that did help the people in America. Abraham Lincoln once said “We shall be governed either by ourselves, under a Constitution, or else we shall be governed by the new kind of master…the bureaucrat, and by the impenetrable web of rules that he fabricates and enforces.”
We are saved, at least for the moment, from the bureaucracy of ObamCare.