The following statement was issued by Terri McCormick:
In the rush to pass the so-called “healthcare reform bill,” U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) stomped his feet and held his breath until he extracted his presents from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One such gift exempts Nebraska from paying the $45 million increase in Medicaid imbursement costs. Nelson was the 60th Democrat to get his stocking stuffed.
Smart parents know not to give in to spoiled children trying these shenanigans. If we gave kids everything they demanded, our family budget would be as busted as last year’s toy under the couch. You know, the one with batteries that are only made in China.
Each of us will soon pay for the Senate’s extravagant spending. In Senator Nelson’s case, his Nebraska voters will be exempted from the substantial cost increases generated by new Medicare patients mandated by this plan. Wisconsin taxpayers will foot the bill not only for the additional costs for Wisconsinites, but for Nebraskans, too.
Senator Reid is like the parents that give their screaming kids everything they ask for. Here is what the Wall Street Journal reported:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Mr. Nelson didn’t get special treatment. “I worked with every Democratic senator” to make changes to the bill,” Mr. Reid said. “Ben Nelson was just like the rest of them.”
The majority leader added, “If you read the bill … you’ll find a number of states are treated differently from other states. That’s what legislation’s all about: compromise.”
So giving a present to every one of the 60 Senate Democrats is the way that healthcare funding decisions are being handled in Washington. It is not the way that we did true healthcare reform in Wisconsin; at least not when I was in charge.
In 2002, I led the Speaker’s Taskforce for Local Government Healthcare Partnerships. We used a business model to address runaway healthcare costs to state and local government. We held a dozen hearings around the State, listening to the people as they identified the reasons for cost spikes. With the help of private-sector talent, we crafted and passed the Competitive Prescription Drug Purchasing Pool, which saved $25 million for non-represented state employees alone, in the first year. We recommended the use of Internet transparency for healthcare cost bidding, as well as a quality control system of standards where communities can view provider ratings online.
This approach put free market mechanisms in place to ensure a level playing field for health care competition. Contrast this pork-free plan with the U.S. Senate Christmas-tree bill, and you can see that government can, and must, do better.
So I have a simple solution for all sensible voters this Holiday season. Think about the permissive parents you see that give in to their spoiled children. Compare them to the incumbent politicians in your district and state. Vote out every one of them that can’t say no to more spending. In these economic hard times, that is the only way for our family budgets – and our nation — to survive.
We need to stop giving a “Tickle Me Nelson” to every U.S. Senator.