November 6, 2009

Pelosi Bill Slips In $6 Billion Slush Fund » The Foundry

Pelosi Bill Slips In $6 Billion Slush Fund » The Foundry:

If this is true, Pelosi's action is outrageous (to use a favorite phrase of Vermont's junior senator). Again, if, true, this becomes a personal slush fund for the Speaker and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Insanity reigns in this liberal Congress. This action engenders the worst possible distrust of our lawmakers. In fact, if true, this is absurd , no obscene!

"This new fund has several unique characteristics that set it apart from the normal operations of Medicaid. First, payments to Medicaid nursing homes are made through states and require a state to match the federal funds. Under this section, there is no state money and the decision as to what facilities will receive the money will be made by Secretary Sebelius (and therefore no state involvement in decision making). Although the legislation provides $1.5 billion for each year in the period 2010-2013, the Secretary could hold the money for 2010 and 2011 and make big lump sum payments in 2012. Second, she does not have to go through any formal rulemaking process to award the funds. Third, her decision is final and is not subject to any type of review. This is important because facilities that receive the money will have a comparative advantage over its competitors. Finally, the Secretary will be required to tell the respective committees of Congress which facilities received the money, but is not obligated to tell anyone else."
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