The Marginal Vote Will Be Even More Expensive

Coyote Blog, July 16, 2009

It is totally clear to me that Obama and Pelosi will spend any amount of money to pass their key legislative initiatives.  In the case of Waxman-Markey, the marginal price per vote turned out to be about $3.5 billion.  But they didn't even blink at paying this.  That is why I fear that some horrible form of health care "reform" may actually pass.  If it does, the marginal cost per vote may be higher, but I don't think our leaders care.

WSJ, Nov 19, 2009

What does it take to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform?

Here's a case study.

On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for "certain states recovering from a major disaster."

The section spends two pages defining which "states" would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that "during the preceding 7 fiscal years" have been declared a "major disaster area."

I am told the section applies to exactly one state:  Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world:  Louisiana.  (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana's Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost?  According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.


  1. Roy:

    OK, this comment is: a)obvious; b)expected. But somebody has to make it.

    Only $100M? That's all? Mary caved for a mere $100M?

  2. Judge Fredd:

    I contacted her, as she's my senator, but I told her that I knew that my concern was immaterial and that she was going to vote the way that her party told her. Still told her to vote "no".

    $100 million? Wow, what a pat on the head for getting on ones knees in supplication.

  3. palm beach sugar daddy ken doll:

    how's the old joke go?

    unnamed, non-specific, scumbucket female senator from a state like, say, louisiana: "what do you think i am !? some kind of **whore**?!?"

    unnamed, nonspecific, ambulatory & sentient fecal male senator from a state like, say, nevada: "we've already established that, mary - uh..."madam". what we're doing now is settling on a price".

    it's like that.

  4. Kevin:

    Plus, if they had just put "Louisiana" in the bill, the Treasury could just cut a check to Louisiana.

    They way they actually did it, someone at Medicaid has to write an application which will be used to apply for the new subsidy (and a team of lawyers will review it).

    Next, a team in Louisiana will have to fill out said application to certify their eligibility for the new funds, including gathering the appropriate evidence (and a team of lawyers will review it).

    Then, the appropriate office in the federal government will review the submitted application to confirm that Louisiana does indeed meet the criteria that were carefully drafted to apply only to Louisiana (and a team of lawyers will review that decision).

    Also, there are probably lobbyists and "consultants" involved at each step of the process.

    What terms will you offer me on a wager that this process will add at least $0.5M in process costs to the distribution of the $100M in funds?