Paul Jacob
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Immediately, as the Senate takes up health care legislation, we receive the chief benefit of the proposal. Laughter is not only good for the soul, it’s good for the body, too.

If we can’t laugh at the juxtaposition of the massive promises being made and the track record of our solons in Washington, well, we’re in for a long debate.

Now, I’m certainly no expert on medicine or insurance — and, no, I haven’t read the 2,074-page legislation — but I am fairly confident that we can all rest easy knowing our representatives have read and studied it diligently on our behalf, right?

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Still, as a lay person with a smidgen of common sense, I have been following the news, and have noticed several elements in the proposed reform legislation that seem odd.

One of the key Senate Democrats to jump late onto the bandwagon, as of yesterday supporting moving ahead with the debate, is Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Of course, there is that little known provision in the bill that would hand $100 million to the state of Louisiana to help cover the costs of Medicaid. But Landrieu said that money was not the reason she was supporting the bill.

Heck, we’re talking a mere $100 million. Chicken feed. Who could be swayed by such a trivial sum?

Rest assured, Sen. Landrieu (as every congressperson) remains focused strictly on the bill’s merits. Though, she did add, “I am not going to be defensive about asking for help in this situation. I’m proud to have asked for it. I’m proud to have fought for it. And I will continue to.”

Yes, ma’am. Subsidy now! Subsidy forever!

No doubt, such subsidies are part of the cost-cutting, deficit-reducing, fiscally responsible heart of this measure. Too bad no one figured out years ago that covering millions of new people with health insurance would save so much money. The Senate bill is supposed to cover an additional 31 million folks, while reducing the deficit by $130 billion.

It seems strange that covering more folks would cost less, but who would doubt the leaders in our Congress?

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Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.