United States Constitution: Article IV-Section II, “…the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.”
This means the federal government cannot treat some states differently than others. For example,when the 55 mph speed limit was a federal law the government could not allow some states to drive at 65 and others at only 45. It was 55 for everyone. The federal hourly minimum wage is $7.25 for all states, not $12.50 for some and $3.25 for others. Federal mandates are the same for every state because that’s what the constitution says.
In order to pass the health care reform bill in the Senate, many Senators sold out and negotiated special privileges for their own states from the federal government. By doing this, ten states secured millions of dollars in additional funding or exemptions from federal mandates.
What that means for you is more of your paycheck being funneled to these ten states to provide their citizens with benefits that you don’t get, but they do.
As expected, Senators from other other states are crying foul and want to cut their own deals. Infighting has broken out. Citizens of states that got these deals are appalled that their Senators expect the rest of the country to pay for them and traded their Senate vote for money. This is exactly why the Constitution prohibits this kind of deal making…it pits citizens of one state against another, it creates a mess of regulations, taxes and laws that vary from state to state based on what each states congressional representatives could negotiate for them in backroom deals in dark alleys.
Citizens of Nebraska voiced their opinion through their Governor when he wrote, “Regarding the unfunded Medicaid mandate, Nebraskans expect a fair deal, not a special deal. If the U.S. Senate plans to address the unfunded mandates issue, all states must receive fair and equal treatment. Neither Nevada, Vermont, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Nebraska, nor any other state should receive a special Medicaid deal that is not available to other states. It is imperative that every state is treated fairly and equally or all special deals must be removed.”
What a mess. When is the Supreme Court going to declare this unconstitutional?
One final thought…if the healthcare reform bill is so great…why do Democrat Senators want to secure special deals before they support it?
The following backroom deals provided by The Washington Post.
Payoff: $100 million in extra Medicaid money.
Representative: Senator Mary Landrieu (Democrat)
Payoff: $100 million in extra Medicaid money and a “carve out” provision that would reduce fees for Mutual of Omaha and other Nebraska insurers.
Representative: Senators Ben Nelson & Mike Johanns (Democrats)
Payoff: $100 million meant for a medical center in Connecticut.
Representative: Senator Christopher Dodd (Democrat)
Payoff: A grandfather clause will allow Floridians to preserve their pricey Medicare Advantage program from cuts imposed in the other states.
Representative: Senator Bill Nelson (Democrat)
Payoff: Secured Medicare coverage for anybody exposed to asbestos – as long as they worked in a mine in Libby, Montana.
Representative: Senator Max Baucus (Democrat)
Payoff: Won more Medicare money for low-volume hospitals of the sort commonly found in Iowa.
Representative: Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat)
State: North Dakota
Payoff: A provision bringing higher Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in “frontier counties” of states such as North Dakota.
Representative: Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad (Democrats)
Payoff: Higher payments to hospitals that treat many uninsured people.
Representatives: Senators Daniel Akaka & Daniel Inouye (Democrats)
Payoff: Will earn higher Medicare payments and some reduced fees for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Representative: Senators Carl Levin & Debbie Stabinow (Democrats)
Payoff: Larger Medicaid payments for his state.
Representative: Senator Bernie Sanders (Independant)