I guess it was the fatigue over the Alito nomination and the SOTU. That is the only reason that I can come up with that the Progressive Blogosphere did not fight the Budget Reconciliation package that passed the House yesterday by a vote of 216-214. This is the bill the Republicans have Bushspeaked into the Deficit Reduction Bill or some such nonsense. What will it really do?
Student Loans - Student loans will take a $12.7 Billion dollar hit. The effect will be to make it harder to get a student loan and will make the interest higher for those who already have pile of students loans - thanks for the help GWB. Gee, do you think his base, that is millionaires, have many outstanding student loans? On Air America, Al Franken has stated his theory that this program is designed to force more lower-income students to chose the military as a way to pay for college. That would be evil, so yes, I believe that is the purpose of this cut.
Medicaid - The new bill will cause Medicaid patients to pay more for services and copays, and premiums will increase. However, we don't know all of what will happen with Medicaid yet, because a large part of the changes are going to come at the state level. The federal government has relaxed standards that will allow states to cut funding in a number of areas. Among these?
* Dropping people from Medicaid that can't pay for services up front.
* Dropping people from Medicaid that can't pay the premiums.
* Cutting services for disabled children under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT).
If you ever wondered how big of a bastard the Republicans are - there you go. Cutting services to disabled children. This is why I think fatigue must have set in among the Democrats, how hard is it to get two votes against a bill that cuts funding to disabled children?
Every Democrat in the House voted against it and 13 Republicans threw their hats in with the Democrats. They didn't do this after the fact, the bill was tied 214-214 until the bitter end. How did NC vote?
1 G.K. Butterfield D ....N
2 Bob Etheridge D .......N
3 Walter Jones R ........N
4 David Price D .........N
5 Virginia Foxx R ....Y
6 Howard Coble R .....Y
7 Mike McIntyre D .......N
8 Robin Hayes R ......Y
9 Sue Myrick R .......Y
10 Patrick McHenry R .Y
11 Charles Taylor R . Y
12 Melvin Watt D ........N
13 Brad Miller D ........N
Only one Republican voted against cutting funds for disabled children. To Shuler, Kissell, Dunn, Glass, and Fischer - the commercials are writing themselves. Also, I think the math is self-evident, if we get rid of Robin Hayes we are at 215-215 - go get him. I would suggest running ads NOW!!!
I would like to point out that Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pa.) voted no after voting yes previously. I am sure it is a coincidence, but he was one of three Reps. that I told David Price's office to push. He is a member of the Autism Caucus and this bill will hurt children with Autism. A number of other Republicans in that caucus voted for this bill, so I hope they rot in hel...I mean, I hope they get defeated in 06.