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Republicans take aim at deal-making

Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2009

Republicans are slamming the provisions Democrats inserted in their far-reaching healthcare overhaul bill at the last minute to win over individual senators. With Senate action now almost certain by Christmas, a battle to shape perceptions of the legislation is heating up, and Republicans are wasting no time attacking it as sullied by backroom deals. Republicans criticized provisions such as an agreement pushed by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to help hospitals in rural states; a deal on Medicaid payments won by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE); and help for a Superfund site in Libby, MT, obtained by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), among others.