Pork Barrel Spending: Why Not Dedicate It To Health Care Insurance?

By Cathy Wilson Posted in Health Insurance News



The 2009 Pork Spending report is out and has been released by Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org). President Obama’s highly touted campaign promise that, “we will identify all congressional wasteful spending” in its website called recovery.gov is leaving little to be desired. It’s the one the Vice-President Joe Biden is in charge of but couldn’t remember the name of in an interview. It seems as though the reporting from CAGW and recovery.gov don’t quite match up or exist at all.

Recent polls indicate that more Americans are not happy with the way that Congress is headed with Health Care reform than Americans that are happy. It’s certainly not a secret that some congressmen have called the money that the proposed Health Care bill will cost as insanely out of sight and will bankrupt the country. Maybe some of the, as former VP candidate Sarah Palin labeled them, “good-old-boys” should dedicate the pork spending monies to Health Care Insurance for Americans in need. The big question is how much pork spending is going into the new Health Care bill?

Top Five Pork Spender States

According to CAGW, five states lead the nation in 2009 pork spending. The top-to-bottom per capita states are:

Alaska: $322 per person ($221 Billion)

Hawaii: $234 per person ($302 Billion)

North Dakota: $222 per person ($142 Billion)

Close contenders: District of Columbia and West Virginia. The top three states alone total $665 Billion.

A Sampling Of Leading Congressional Persons Pork Spending

According to CAGW, here are some of the congressional men and women’s efforts to get in their share of the pork money not in any order of highest to lowest:

$2.19 Million by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) for Center for Grape Genetics.

$1.79 Million by Senator Tom Darkin (D-IA) for swine odor and manure management.

$1.76 Million by Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD),  Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) for honey bee lab in Weslaco.

$866,000 by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) for stable fly control in Lincoln.

$80.65 Million by Senator Richard Shelby (D-AL) for fish management lab, oyster rehabilitation in Mobile, public education in Mobile, education exhibits, missions systems recording, archival, and retrieval and COPS program for the Talladega County Commission to make radio upgrades.

$41.06 Million by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for study climate impacts and adaptation in the Mid-Atlantic region, program to increase the number and quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers in the region’s public schools, Chesapeake Bay office for blue crab research, network of environmental observation platforms and a digital classroom project.

$32.9 Million by Senator Daniel Inouyi (D-HI) for conservation and recovery of endangered Hawaiian sea turtle populations, conservation and recovery of the critically endangered monk seal population and conservation of Pacific crustaceans, promotion of astronomy in Hawaii, conduct systematic and reliable climatographic research of the Pacific region, Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative at the University of Hawaii to support monitoring and research activities on Hawaii’s coral reefs.

$11.65 Million by Senator Alan Mollohan (D-WV) for stream restoration program, World Vision Appalachia at-risk youth programming, police departments in Benwood (population: 1,446), Bridgeport (population: 7,782), Cameron (population: 1,093), Chester (population: 2,346), Glen Dale (population: 1,417), Glenville (population: 1,465), Grafton (population: 5,311), Kingwood (population: 2,942), Mannington (population: 2,089), McMechen (population: 1,750), New Martinsville (population:5,585), and St. Mary’s (population: 1,900).

$87.02 Million by then-Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Pete Domenici(R-NM.) for middle Rio Grande restoration, climate change modeling capability, New Mexico environmental infrastructure, construction of the Acequias irrigation system, La Samilla Solar Through Storage Project; Center of Excellence and Hazardous Materials and middle Rio Grande endangered species collaborative program.

$70.7 Million by  Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for Bay Area regional water recycling program, San Ramon Valley recycled water, investigations on the South San Francisco shoreline, deepening the main channel and the Port of Los Angeles, abandoned mine restoration, Carpinteria shoreline study and the Malibu Creek watershed.

Note that some some of these congressmen (and women) are heads of committees. For more information, go to www.cagw.org for a complete summary report.

Related posts:

  1. Guess What Two Industries Lead 2009 Lobbyist Spending For Health Care?
  2. What Does A Flexible Spending Arrangement Mean For Health Insurance?
  3. Why Won’t State-Run Health Insurance Versus Fed’s Work?
  4. What Health Insurance Do Senators And Other Congress People Have?
  5. What Is A State Children’s Health Insurance Plan?






One Response to “Pork Barrel Spending: Why Not Dedicate It To Health Care Insurance?”

  1. Stacy says:

    It maybe pork to you but here in the middle of the Pacific, these are real issues for Hawaii. Recovery of the unique life we have here is important. You don’t see it day in and day out like we do. The health of the reef supports us ALL. Loss of a species effects us ALL. Global warming acidifies our ocean and again effects the world.
    Astronomy builds jobs here for us. Which stimulates our economy. I would be willing to bet that crustaceans is a typo and should be cetacean.
    Yes, health care is important but so is our daily life here in Hawaii.

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