There's also $4 billion for health programs like obesity control and smoking cessation, $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $462 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $900 million for pandemic flu preparations. Health care also added jobs last year.
IOW, healthcare added jobs so why does that sector need to be part of the stimulus? Rove had a theory:
It is not surprising that the stimulus package is laden with new spending programs. Congressional appropriators, not job creators, wrote H.R. 1. Much of it is spending Democrats couldn't get approved in the normal course of affairs. And it should not shock Americans that Democratic appropriators would funnel tax dollars to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, unions and other liberal special interests. Putting budgets of political allies above the budgets of struggling families is apparently the new Democratic trickle-down economics.
Yes, pandemic flu preparation is just another spending program that Democrats couldn’t get approved any other way! Just another way for us to put our friends and allies on the government gravy train, sorta the way Republicans did with defense contractors like KBR and Blackwater, except ours are all brown and socialist and poor and stuff.
This is classic projection. Rove was accusing the Democrats of doing exactly what Republicans had done. Because when that’s how you see the world, then of course you will assume everyone behaves the way that you do.
Rove and folks like Susan Collins of Maine were able to convince everyone that pandemic flu preparations needed to be removed from the economic stimulus, noting:
"Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not."
They said there’s nothing stimulating to the economy about pandemic flu preparations, except when there are:
MADRID — The top EU health official urged Europeans on Monday to postpone nonessential travel to parts of the United States and Mexico because of the swine flu virus, and Spanish health officials confirmed the first case outside North America.
I hope you don’t live in a city dependent upon tourism.
Ooops. Sorry, Nashville!
It would be nice to counteract this European fear mongering by pointing to our brand new cabinet secretary in charge of Health & Human Services (instead of the Utah accountant who is a holdover from the Bush years) and an aggressive pandemic flu preparedness program already funded and already put into motion as part of the economic stimulus package.
Oh, sorry. Republicans are filibustering Obama's HHS pick and put the kabosh on flu-preparation funding.
I can already tell the debate over healthcare reform is going to be fun, fun, fun.