Mystery $100 Million Payoff Buried in Senate Health Bill

by Nancy Morgan
NewsReal Blog
2009 December 20

Buried on pages 328 and 329 of the proposed Senate health care bill is an appropriation for an undisclosed state to recieve $100,000,000 from The Federal Treasury to “build or expand a state university medical school.”

The language doesn’t specify which lucky state gets this massive infusion of our tax dollars, and the language seems to leave open a rather broad definition of how this money is to be spent.

American taxpayers are, once again, having their tax dollars diverted to unnamed sources and unclear causes. With no time for questions, debate or recourse.

On page 328 of the Senate amendment (PDF link here), under Section 105o2 Infrastructure To Expand Access To Care…

…Since this amendment will most likely be voted on Monday morning at 1 am, its quite likely this $100,000,000 of our taxpayer dollars will be authorized without anyone being able to question who the latest recipients of our largess is. What the hey, its only $100,000,000. Merry Christmas.

The amendment is outlined at

And, from ABC News:

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports:

The health reform Christmas gifts for Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are well known . But somewhere out there is another good little legislator who got funding for a hospital in their state.

But which senator? Which hospital? It is a health care whodunit.

Somewhere out there in the United States is a “Health Care Facility” “at a public research university in the United States that contains a State’s sole public academic medical and dental school.”

We know this because in the bill Democrats released Saturday morning is a $100,000,000 check for that hospital (presumably there is only one).

Republicans poring over the bill Democrats released Saturday found this on page 328:

“(a) APPROPRIATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated, and there are appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services, $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2011, to be used for debt service on, or direct construction or renovation of, a health care facility that provides research, inpatient tertiary care, or outpatient clinical services. Such facility shall be affiliated with an academic health center at a public research university in the United States that contains a State’s sole public academic medical and dental school.” (Manager’s Amendment To H.R. 3590, Pg. 328)

We have asked for some clarification from Democrats.

Meantime, one Republican quipped: “If taxpayers are going to be expected to sign the check, Democrats should at least let them know who to make it out to.”

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