Sen. Ben Nelson Supports Health Care Bill After Nebraska Deal
Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson has finally ensured his support for the health care bill, but not gratuitously. Instead, Nelson's support came in exchange for a Medicaid deal for the state of Nebraska. But, not everyone in Nebraska is happy about the special deal.
Nelson was the last Democratic holdout, but changed his mind over the weekend. On Sen. Ben Nelson's website, a statement appeared dating to December 19 saying, "Nelson to support health care bill: Delay would hurt Nebraska families, workers and employers." The statement said that the health care reform bill will reduce the cost, expand access, and improve health care for all Nebraskans.
“Change is never easy...but change is what is needed in America today. I will vote for health care reform because it will deliver relief from rising health care costs to Nebraska families, workers, rural communities and employers,” Senator Nelson said. “
What did Nelson ask in return? The federal government agreed to cover 100% of Nebraska's health care bill for an indefinite amount of time. The deal was called an act of "bribery" by the Republicans, who said there should be no special deals for any parties involved in the bill.
Not everyone in Nebraska is happy over the deal that Nelson secured for his state. There are allegations some Nebraskans want a lawsuit launched against their home state.
“The deal the senator made for the State of Nebraska is against the law and against the Constitution,” says Rief-Heskett. “Why should the state of Nebraska not have to pay for the unfunded mandate of Medicaid and all the other states have to pay for Nebraska’s portion?”
But, Nebraska was not the only state that was given special treatment in the health care bill: Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota also had special deals carved out for them in the health care bill.
What is your take? Do you think any states should enjoy special healthcare deals for the "greater good" of having one uniform health care bill?