Sunday, December 20, 2009

On securing Ben Nelson's vote

from the Washington Post:

Nelson also secured full and permanent federal funding for his state to extend Medicaid eligibility to everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill would require all states to do so, but Nebraska alone would not be required to pay a portion of the additional cost after 2016. And he won concessions for some nonprofit insurers and for providers of supplemental Medicare coverage from a new insurance tax, and he was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.


Bob Park had a different observation on the health care bill:

Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat also known as Senator Bee Pollen, could not let the Health Reform Bill go through without a provision mandating that insurers reimburse alternative medicine providers. It was Harkin, you will recall, who was responsible for creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), forcing Harold Varmus to resign as head of NIH. NCCAM hasn't found any cures, but it has done a credible job of using rigorous placebo-controlled double-blind studies to demonstrate that one herbal remedy after another is totally ineffective. Presumably the alternative medicine providers will be reimbursed for applying the placebo effect.


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