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[Quasi-Off-Topic:] Long-Winded Senatorial Specifications

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Specifications have long been an intense interest of mine (e.g., go here). Below is an 833-word specification by our U.S. Senate that could have been said in one word — LOUISIANA. Indeed, the only state to which this specifcation applies is LOUISIANA. Congrats to Lousiana’s Mary Landrieu for snagging $100M in pork that’s associated with this specification!

‘‘(aa)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), beginning January 1, 2011, the Federal medical assistance percentage for a fiscal year for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State shall be equal to the following:

‘(A) In the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), increased by 50 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5.

‘‘(B) In the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection for the State, increased by 25 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection.

‘‘(2) In this subsection, the term ‘disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State’ means a State that is one of
the 50 States or the District of Columbia, for which, at any time during the preceding 7 fiscal years, the President has declared a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and determined as a result of such disaster that every county or parish in the State warrant individual and public assistance or public assistance from the Federal Government under such Act and for which— ‘‘(A) in the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5, by at least 3 percentage points; and ‘‘(B) in the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection by at least 3 percentage points.

‘‘(3) The Federal medical assistance percentage determined for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State under paragraph (1) shall apply for purposes of this title (other than with respect to disproportionate share hospital payments described in section 1923 and payments under this title that are based on the enhanced FMAP described in 2105(b)) and shall not apply with respect to payments under title IV (other than under part E of title IV) or payments under title XXI.’’

10 Replies to “[Quasi-Off-Topic:] Long-Winded Senatorial Specifications

  1. 1
    tribune7 says:

    Those letters are merely the random mutations of a word processor that simply happen to be beneficial to a key Democratic vote.

  2. 2
    tragic mishap says:

    Come on. You don’t really expect them to say, “We’re giving $100 mil to Louisiana.”

  3. 3
    waterbear says:

    Below is an 833-word specification by our U.S. Senate that could have been said in one word — LOUISIANA.

    I do not believe the single word “LOUISIANA” would mean the same thing, as “LOUISIANA” alone would not describe how much money would be spent in which years or through which channels, which seems to be what the Senate paragraphs are about.

    The appallingly obscure word soup certainly could be replaced by something much clearer such as:
    “Increase Federal medical assistance percentage for Louisiana by x in years y through z due to the President having declared Louisiana to have been the site of a major disaster (under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act)”
    That says how much will be spent where, when and why. The original is so awfully written that I can’t figure out the values of x, y and z.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Sir Humphrey Appleby would have been proud of of the lawyers or civil servants who drafted that. Obscurantism raised to an art form.

  5. 5
    tribune7 says:

    You don’t really expect them to say, “We’re giving $100 mil to Louisiana.”

    Yes. The likelihood of that phrase randomly appearing is exponentially higher than the 833 words that did appear. This, however, merely proves the remarkable power of evolution.

    You might claim “intelligent design” is the only reasonable explanation but this is easily rebutted simply by noting Harry Reid’s involvement.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Granville Sewell says:

    “every county or parish in the state”…hmmm, I guess they could have just said “every parish” 🙂

  8. 8
    Frost122585 says:

    I know Bill. This is how these ridiculous things are written. All it is is a perversion of the legislative process.

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    This is the 2009 version of the Louisiana Purchase. The original cost was $15 million so this is rather cheap in today’s dollars. Is there an honest Democrat in the Senate? So these people like scientists are all buyable.

  10. 10
    rocketsurgeon says:

    jerry,

    Why must you paintbrush Democrats and scientists in such a manner. Such generalizations are unbecoming of you.

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