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Friday, November 20, 2009

Reid Bribes Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu For Obamacare Vote?

Knowing he is short the votes needed to proceed to debate on his Obamacare bill, Harry Reid has been wheeling and dealing with Democrats not yet on board and without whom he cannot pass his bill.

One of those three is Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu and ABC's The Note has found language in the bill showing how Reid approached that problem.

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.

Read the rest to see the exact language in the bill.

It could all be for naught though, since Reid doesn't only need Landrieu, he needs the other two Democrats and both Independents, which includes Joseph Lieberman, who has stated clearly that if Reid leaves the "public option" in his version of the bill, he will join Republicans in filibustering.

Without Lieberman, Reid would need at least 1 Republican and as of now, he doesn't have one that will jump off that cliff with him.