USA Today calls the package a "whopping ... basket of goodies," such as $1 billion for dairy and cotton producers, lower prescription-drug costs for seniors, higher premiums for wealthy Medicare patients, and $6 billion for the opioid epidemic. It includes $20 billion for infrastructure initiatives, some of which will go to broadband build-outs, John Eggerton reports for Broadcasting and Cable. The bill also includes almost $90 billion in disaster relief for areas hurt by last year's hurricanes and wildfires, funds community health centers, and extends the Children's Health Insurance Program for an extra four years, beyond the six years recently approved, but "would cut $1.35 billion in funding . . . meant to improve public health and prevention funding for states and municipalities," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "The bill continues a special tax rate of 23.8 percent for 2017 for gains from timber sales, a break from the top rate of 35 percent that would have otherwise applied."
McConnell had at least two other goodies for Kentucky. The bill will exempt private Berea College from a provision of last year's tax-reform bill that would have taxed its endowment, Eliza Collins and Maureen Groppe report for USA Today. He also inserted an exemption for the state's Southeast Community and Technical College, which was in danger of being disqualified for federal student loans because of a high default rate. McConnell could also be credited with the bill's preservation of tax breaks for owners of racehorses (primarily bred in Kentucky) and racetracks like Kentucky Speedway.