Democrat Senator Tom Harkin is criticizing the four Iowa republicans in Congress, including his November opponent, for voting two weeks ago to boost Medicare payments in parts of Pennsylvania and New York. Harkin says the increased payments to hospitals, nursing homes and doctors in those states comes at Iowa’s expense. He says whether they were ignorant of what was in the bill, or voted with the Republican Party, he says they were wrong.Harkin says republican Congressmen Jim Leach, Jim Nussle, Tom Latham, and Greg Ganske — Harkin’s general election opponent — shouldn’t be able to claim ignorance.Harkin says Iowa’s lone democrat Congressman, Leonard Boswell, and a republican Congressman from Alabama spoke out against the proposal during House debate. The boost in Medicare reimbursement rates for Pennsylvania and New York was included in an emergency spending bill which passed the House two weeks ago. The U-S Senate is voting on an emergency spending bill today which does NOT include what Harkin calls the “anti-Iowa” provision.
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