The intended beneficiaries are identified in a cryptic, mysterious way: individuals exposed to environmental health hazards recognized as a public health emergency in a declaration issued by the federal government on June 17.
And who might those individuals be? It turns out they are people exposed to asbestos from a vermiculite mine in Libby, Mont.
For a decade, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, has been trying to get the government to help them. He is in a position to deliver now because he is chairman of the Finance Committee and a principal author of the health care bill.
Working for a 21st consecutive day, the Senate on Sunday pushed toward a final vote on Christmas Eve on the bill, which would provide health insurance for more than 30 million Americans. Democrats said on Saturday that they had secured the 60th vote needed to pass the bill, and a 60-to-40 procedural vote early Monday morning was the first in a series testing their ability to maintain party unity on the issue.
So, Senator Baucus has added a few little goodies for his state also.
This bill is clearly not about the American people, it is about party unity and passing a bill that makes President Obama look good.
Party unity? How about the American people?
What are the chances that the American people will unite and throw these bums out?