Pork reigns supreme

Captain Ed has the details on the latest report regarding Democrats, earmarks, and pork spending – this time on hospitals in towns and cities that would benefit their re-election campaigns:

While the Democrats hailed the SCHIP legislation as protecting America’s children, its real intent appears to be protecting Democratic backsides. It rewards hospitals in suburban Democratic districts such as Maurice Hinchey’s in New York and Bart Stupak’s in Michigan by forcing Medicare to pay above-market rates to hospitals in those areas. The Democrats hid these earmarks by casting them in gobbledygook geographical descriptions that sound broad but actually describe specific hospitals.

Democrats want to exploit Medicare to pay above-market rates in these hospitals to curry favor with unions and with local voters. For instance, a rural Alabama hospital that has not even yet been built will get higher payments from Medicare because it will be listed as a “critical access” facility. It normally wouldn’t qualify for that status because of the proximity of another hospital, but Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) got language waiving the standard for any hospital built in Butler. Coincidentally, that’s just where Rush Health Systems had planned to build the new hospital.

All done in the name of ‘helping the cheeeldren and elderly.” Surprise surprise.

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