Howard Rich

During the 1980’s, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar built a global cocaine cartel of unrivaled power and influence based on a simple philosophy, Plato O Plomo.

Translated literally that means “silver or lead,” but every Colombian knew what it really meant – “money or bullets.” Either you took Escobar’s bribe, or you dealt with Escobar’s wrath.

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Today, these thuggish tactics are alive and well in – of all places – Washington, D.C., a city where two decades ago officials were busy hunting down criminals like Escobar. Meanwhile elsewhere in the United States, stealing from Medicaid has replaced cocaine dealing as the most practiced, most profitable form of white collar crime – another reason Barack Obama and his Congressional allies should think long and hard before they expand governmental “control” of this industry.

Yet as another unprecedented Washington power grab takes shape, Plato O Plomo indeed appears to have been adopted by Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate President Harry Reid as theirmodus operandi for passing an un-American socialized medicine proposal that America doesn’t want and cannot afford.

In fact, these so-called “leaders” are perpetrating the ultimate in “white collar” Medicaid fraud – dipping into this taxpayer-funded slush fund to pad the pockets of lawmakers whose votes they need for the larger, $2.5 trillion heist.

Take the proposed $300 million Medicaid payout offered to the state of Louisiana in a (successful) effort to secure the vote of Sen. Mary Landrieu. This provision was inserted into the 2,700-page bill as Landrieu was waffling on whether or not to bring the legislation to the floor for debate.

“After a thorough review of the bill, I have decided there are enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward …” Landrieu said from the Senate floor shortly after accepting this glorified bribe.

And while Landrieu claimed at the time that there was “more work to be done” on the legislation, she has since changed her tune and voted to shut down debate on further amendments.

Next in line was another fence-sitter, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who was offered millions of dollars in Medicaid payments for his home state beginning in 2017 and extending forever.

That’s right – the federal government is offering to pay 100% of Nebraska’s Medicaid cost increases from here to eternity, a deal no other state is getting but one which every other state must finance.

Of course there have been sticks associated with these carrots, too.


Howard Rich

Howard Rich is the Chairman of Americans for Limited Government.