Nebraska, Vermont and Massachusetts scored $1.2 billion in special Medicaid assistance. Nelson got something for Nebraska the other states didn’t — a permanent exemption on increased state costs for new patients that come into Medicaid through the plan.
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming secured higher federal reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals that serve Medicare patients.
Senior citizens in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York will see their Medicare Advantage benefits protected at a time when the program will be trimmed nationwide.
Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman, defended the special provisions as “a normal part of the legislative process.”
But Republicans, despite their use of similar tools while in the majority, spent Sunday blasting Democrats.
“This process is not legislation. This process is corruption,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said. “And it’s corruption that’s obvious to the average American in this country,” Coburn said. “And it’s a shame that that’s the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes.”
Coburn also blasted a mystery provision tucked into the bill, $100 million for a university hospital. Reid’s office could not say what senator asked for it but late Sunday night, Sen. Chris Dodd fessed up, saying he’s hoping the money will come to the University of Connecticut. Dodd is facing a difficult re-election battle.
Coburn also said he hoped one of his fellow senators didn’t show up for the pivotal 1 a.m. vote – an admission that Republicans were powerless to stop the procession of votes toward passage.