Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Medicaid Deal Could Represent "Corruption"

That's not news to many of us - I think that's EXACTLY what many of us think of the Nebraska deal struck by the Senate. But most of us are not in positions of power. South Carolina Attorney General Henry Mcmaster, however, is. And that was his word: corruption.

And how. Here is the SC AG this morning explaining why this giveaway to Nebraska is likely unConstitutional:

Did you catch that? There are already TEN state Attorneys General looking into the Constitutionality of the Medicaid giveaway. That is significant, if you ask me.

Oh - I suppose I should give you the written version, too, in case you can't understand Attorney General Henry McMaster's melodious Southern accent (ahem). This one comes from The Hill, and the headline says it all:
S.C. aAtorney General: Medicaid Deal Could 'Represent Corruption', South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster on Monday stressed that Senate Democrats' move to cover Nebraska's new Medicaid patients in full could represent "corruption."

In an interview with Fox News this morning, McMaster said Democrats in
cluded the provision in the chamber's healthcare bill purely to buy Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) much-needed vote. It is ultimately unconstitutional, McMaster added, as it places a disproportionate burden on the 49 other states to cover Nebraska's Medicaid costs.

"As far as we know, the only distinction made for Nebraska with Sen. Nelson was to buy his vote," said McMaster, who announced he would probe the constitutionality of that deal last week.

"We think that represents corruption, a culture of corruption, [and] we're very concerned about it," he said. "It's going to cost 49 states money to have to pay Nebraska's share, and we think that is unconstitutional."

McMaster is one of 10 Republican attorneys general who have banded together in opposition to Nebraska's Medicaid deal, at the beckoning of South Carolina Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint.

Hell, I don't care if one of the 10 is a Whig or a Tory, as long as SOMEONE is actually looking out for the Constitution in this process, because it sure as hell does not appear to be the Congressional Democrats:
Together, they argue the provision -- referred to in some GOP circles as the "Cornhusker Kickback" -- defies longstanding constitutional precedents on taxes and fees. According to them, the government must levy those excises uniformly to prevent lawmakers from "ganging up" on one state, which means Congress should avoid distributing the fees of a program -- in this case, Medicaid -- to every state but one.

But there's also an implicit economic argument motivating states' legal action against Democrats' healthcare reforms. All told, states faced billions in budget gaps they had to close before the beginning of the 2010 fiscal year, and many resorted to spending cuts and tax increases in order to stay out of the red. Many governors thus argued that a Medicaid expansion during a national budget crisis could further hamstring their finances, but only one state -- Nebraska -- was able to avoid the mandate.

McMaster hinted at that objection during his interview on Monday, dismissing suggestions that his investigation was a political stunt. He then chided Democrats for failing to even rationalize the Medicaid deal in the days leading up to their passage of healthcare legislation.

"This is the first time we've had a situation where no one has even attempted to give a reason other than it is to buy a particular senator's vote in order to move the bill forward," McMaster said. "That's not the kind of reason the Constitution allows."

"The political stunts are going on in Washington; this is a matter of law for the states' attorneys general," McMasster added.

I hope, while they are at it, that they look into some of the kickbacks provided to other states like, say Louisiana, and the New Louisiana Purchase to buy Landrieu's vote.

AG McMaster hit the nail on the head right here:
"This is the first time we've had a situation where no one has even attempted to give a reason other than it is to buy a particular senator's vote in order to move the bill forward," McMaster said. "That's not the kind of reason the Constitution allows."

I would certainly hope not. Hard to believe they even tried these buyoffs, this more "transparent" Congress. Ha. More like this Congress that refuses to heed the will of the people. I guess it isn't so hard to believe after all, but I sure hope SOMEONE puts a stop to it, and soon. I hope more States Attorneys General band together to stand up against this unConstituional vote buying that places an undue burden on all the other states.

And I really hope that we will, some day soon, have representatives in Washington who actually represent US, not their own self-interests.


Anonymous said...

Whoo hoo, I LOVE McMaster (and his Southern accent)! Don't care what party he belongs to, he's telling it like it is. Good for him and the other 9 who are standing up for our Constitution. Nelson's vote was bought, pure and simple, and that can't be Constitutional.

I wonder how the Dems will try to take down the SAG 10.

Wouldn't it be nice if someday we had representatives in Congress who voted for or against a bill based solely on the merits of the bill and not on how much their vote could be bought for?

Yeah, I know, that'll happen about the same time as that unicorn arrives on my doorstep. Or my Obama money arrives in my mail.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

ROTFLMAO abt the Obama money - oh, damn, you are funny, SF!!

And yes, it would. Like my senator, Graham, said the other day - if this is how things are done in Washington, they should come out and ADMIT that's how things are done.

I, too, wonder what they'll do to these SAsG. They'll turn Axelrove loose on them so he can create some dirt that they will then have to defend against, a la Palin and what they did to her. Then they can shift the focus to the smoke and mirrors...

I would love, love, LOVE for us to have people in office who cared abt the WORK of the office, and not the perks of it. Just look at Obama and how all he wants to do is play with all of the toys of the office without the work of it all. I mean, really - he hasn't crafted any bills, he hasn't done much of anything except get his face on tv every damn day (or so it seems) blathering on.

Tell me again why everyone thinks he is so eloquent and loves his voice? I cannot STAND to hear him drone on and on.

Oh, I digress. Anywho - yes, you let me know when that unicorn shows up.

Maybe you can use those Obama dollars to buy a plane ticket and come visit!!

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO .... using my Obama dollars to come visit... snicker snicker

(I hear you about his voice. I cannot stand to listen to him. It's worse then with Bush!)

word verification - offena. Obama is offena 'nother vacation.

Mary Ellen said...

Check out this cartoon...it was in the Chicago Tribune today, and it says it all.


Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SF, I know just what you mean. I couldn't STAND to listen to Bush, and would practically kill myself getting to the remote when he would come on. I have the EXACT same reaction to Obama.

Teehee abt the word verification!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oh, my GOSH, Mary Ellen - that is exactly it! Perfect!!