White House Blocking Healthcare For Katrina Survivors

The DeLay indictment is understandably the story of the day. However, DeLay isn't the only corrupt Republican (criminally and/or morally) in Washington. Take, for example, the White House and their allies in the Senate. Their pressing concern right now with the Katrina recovery isn't so much making sure that people are being taken care of, but rather than they're not accidentally taking care of too many people.

With Gulf Coast governors pressing for action, Senate Finance Committee members complained Wednesday that the Bush administration is blocking a bipartisan $9 billion health care package for hundreds of thousands of evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
. . .
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the committee, said four or five senators have been blocking action on the bill after the Bush administration raised objections to provisions that would extend Medicaid coverage to thousands upon thousands of adults who otherwise would be uninsured, including those whose applications have been rejected in Louisiana.

One of the defenses I've heard of the no bid contracts for Gulf Coast rebuilding is that there isn't enough time to seriously review the specifics of individual proposals and that the work has to get done as soon as possible. If that's true, why not also temporarily open up Medicaid to those affected by Katrina? God forbid someone should get healthcare when they don't really qualify for it.

What I really want to know is the names of the GOP Senators complicit in blocking this healthcare bill.

Update: From Otto in the comments, the five Republican Senators are John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Sununu, Tom Coburn, and Jim DeMint. Bob Novak sings their praises in a new column, writing that they were standing up "against such raids on the Treasury" as this post-Katrina emergency Medicaid spending.

Somebody please spare me the indignation, especially coming from Novak. If you really want to talk about "raids on the treasury," look no further than the Bush tax cuts. Since they went into effect, the tax cuts for the richest 5% have cost nearly $326 billion. So much for McCain and Co.'s vision of fiscal responsibility.






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