Coffee Rips Into Senate Health Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The U.S. Senate’s proposed health bill will cause catastrophic repercussions to Oklahoma’s state budget, according to Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee.

“While Harry Reid sells his soul and financial indulgences for the votes of his fellow Democrat senators this Christmas season, all he will leave for Oklahoma taxpayers will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar lump of coal, and a cumbersome, unaffordable system that will disenfranchise more citizens than it will help,” Coffee said in a press release.  “This is the ultimate Dirty Santa gift that we can’t pass off to someone else.”

 The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) informed lawmakers on Sunday night that the section of the manager’s amendment to the Senate’s health bill would cost Oklahoma $1.2 billion over 10 years.

The state learned this week it is facing a more than $1 billion budget shortfall.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid secured the 60th vote – that of Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson — for $100 million in Medicaid assistance for his state.  Previously, Reid had made a $600 million deal for Vermont, a $500 million boondoggle for Massachusetts, and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu committed her vote for $300 million.  In addition, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has reportedly received $100 Million in the health care bill to build a hospital at the University of Connecticut.

 “Oklahoma taxpayers – and citizens of Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and other states will pay in multiple ways for years to come for Harry Reid’s outrageous Christmas gifts to his fellow Democrat senators,” Coffee said. “The favoring of one state and its Senator at the expense of other states and their taxpayers is unjust.

 “We can only hope some sort of sense will overtake those leading the charge to push this disaster on the public, and that Oklahomans – Democrats and Republicans alike – will make their voices heard in Washington,” Coffee added.  “We can count our blessings during this season of joy for Oklahoma’s federal delegation, but Washington needs a little more Oklahoma common sense,” he concluded.