The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, April 17, 2004

The Medicare malarkey - one or two clues, but no analysis

(Following up yesterday's piece.)

As a study of Senate legislating in action, I've recommended before - and no doubt will again - the 150 or so pages in Robert Caro's Lyndon Johnson bio, Master of the Senate. dealing with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Of course, it's too much to expect anything that good to have been written yet on the shenanigans that went on in securing passage of HR 1 in the Senate last November.

One might hope there would have been something, though. I can't find it [1].

Naturally, one is looking for motive. Carrots and sticks. Easy enough to figure what might have motivated Dems voting the Big Pharma way: GOP leadership pressure on pet bills; Pharma contributions; fear of upsetting elderly voters, or their lobby group, the AARP, which was supporting HR 1.

But what actually motivated the votes - much trickier.

And one has to look at each three votes: why, say, Daschle, while opposing the bill, would have voted to break the filibuster? And Murray - supporting both 457 and 458 before voting against the conference report - what's up with that?

Twenty-two senators, three votes: that's 66 basic variables. At a minimum, one's looking for NYT Magazine cover story length.

Faute de mieux, looks like - DIY...

  1. And I'm certainly in no position to supply such a thing; as the catchy song in a TV ad for a now defunct British DIY chain had it:
    If only we knew it,
    How Do It All do it,
    You can bet,
    We'd be doing it as well.

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