The Spectacle Blog

Obama Now OK With Sweetheart Deals As Long As Multiple States Are Bribed

By on 3.15.10 | 9:40AM

Even though the White House had vowed to remove "sweetheart deals" from health care legislation, struggling for votes, the Obama administration now says that these special deals are okay -- as long as they apply to more than one state.

Here's the AP:

WASHINGTON – Still seeking votes for his proposed health care overhaul, President Barack Obama appears ready to reverse his position and allow unpopular deal-sweetening measures in the hopes of finding Democratic support for legislation whose future will be decided in coming days....

Clinching support, though, might require Obama to back away from his insistence that senators purge the legislation of a number of lawmakers' special deals.

Taking a new position, Axelrod said the White House only objects to state-specific arrangements, such as an increase in Medicaid funding for Nebraska, ridiculed as the "Cornhusker Kickback." That's being cut, but provisions that could affect more than one state are OK, Axelrod said.

That means deals sought by senators from Montana and Connecticut would be fine — even though Gibbs last week singled them out as items Obama wanted removed. There was resistance, however, from two committee chairman, Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, and the White House has apparently backed down.

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