Nelson Bought Off, 49 States to Pay for Concessions for Nebraska

These people are maniacs and they should be in prison.

Politico reported:

Sen. Mary Landrieu got the “Louisiana Purchase.” Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up most his state’s future Medicaid tab — forever.

As part of the deal to win Nelson’s support, the federal government will pay for Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients. It’s a provision worth about $45 million over the first decade.

Medicaid is usually paid for with a mix of federal and state funding, but Nelson’s carve out means that any Medicaid beneficiaries who join the program after the bill passes will be paid for in full by the federal government.

It’s a sweet deal considering that many governors are worried that the Medicaid expansion will further strain already stressed state budgets.

The deal is emblematic of the kind of horse trading that gets done to win votes on any landmark piece of legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent $300 million in Medicaid funds to Louisiana as a sweetener to secure Landrieu’s vote to begin debate on the bill.

Nelson would not comment on the provision, saying that he would leave it to Reid to discuss details.

“I’m comfortable it is taken care of,” he said of his state.

Reid defended Nebraska’s special treatment saying, “You’ll find a number of states that are treated differently than other states. That’s what legislating is all about. It’s compromise.”

“That’s what legislating is all about!?!?” Like I said, these people should be in jail.

Let’s not forget the abortion funding issue. This is classic. John McCormack summed it up nicely.

Harry Reid has released the manager’s amendment that Ben Nelson has reportedly agreed to vote for, meaning that the Senate bill has 60 votes. The abortion language includes the phony segregation of funding language that was rejected in the House. It would allow individual states to opt out of the abortion-funding program–in other words, the default position is to pay for abortions; states would have to pass legislation to not fund abortions. But states where public abortion-funding is mandated by state court rulings would be required to pay for abortions: …

The big question now is, once this clears the Senate and goes to conference, are they going to just jam it through without changes? My guess would be that they will.

Memeorandum has more links.