Sen. Chris Dodd slipped a little something special into the controversial Senate health care bill: a $100-million grant for construction of an unspecified university hospital.
"The hospital must be affiliated with an academic health center at a public university,” according to a news release from Dodd.
It’s included in he “manager’s amendment,” according to Dodd’s office, which also includes changes to Medicaid that could benefit the State Administered General Assistance program.
More than a dozen projects across the country could qualify, Dodd, who's locked in a tough re-election fight, told the Associated Press. But, he’s like to see it go to a potential new UConn Health Center, Politico.com reports.
In a news release issued on Monday, Dodd’s office points out that he is not the one to decided where the funding would go, it will be up to he U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to “decide which institution receives funding under this program."
“These provisions will bring millions of dollars to the state so that Connecticut’s residents can receive quality, affordable health care,” Dodd in a release issued on Monday. “Increased funding means that our community health centers will continue to grow and serve more families, our health care professionals will be adequately compensated, and more residents will be able to receive the care they need.”
Steve Ellis, vice president of watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, estimates that Dodd — either by himself or with other lawmakers — has secured 92 earmarks worth more than $120 million for Connecticut.
“With a tough reelection battle next year, Sen. Dodd is trying to move anything in Washington that isn’t nailed down up to Connecticut,” Ellis told politico.com. “Not bad for a senator who isn’t even on the Appropriations Committee,” Ellis added.