Nelson in "serious discussions" to extend deal:
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has begun negotiations with Senate Democratic leaders to expand his special Medicaid funding deal to all states or to allow states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in 2017, his spokesman told POLITICO Thursday.Uh huh. The CBO may not be able to come up with an estimate of the cost of a Medicaid expansion but I can: a butt load. The question is, who is going to pay that butt load. Whether the burden falls on the states or it falls on federal government the result is the same. The taxpayer will foot the bill.
“There are serious discussions,” Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson said.
The negotiations follow weeks of scathing Republican criticism of the deal, which critics have termed the “Cornhusker Kickback,” arranged by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in order to help secure Nelson’s support for the health care reform bill.
Senate Democrats have also begun to blast the deal, saying it should be removed before the final legislation is passed. Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) have been critical of the deal.
Thompson said Nelson had always intended to push for other states to receive the same arrangement, which involved the federal government forever picking up Nebraska's share of the Medicaid expansion. Senate leaders were unable to meet his demand during the December negotiations because they did not have a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, Thompson said.
Look, Nelson mistakenly believed that the voters in his state would be thrilled with the special deal he got and that they would reward him accordingly. But we are not (yet) a welfare country where the citizens want to "get theirs" off the backs of others.
Nelson screwed up. He is compounding his screw up by making ridiculous statements.
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