Friday, January 1, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican attorneys general in 13 states are threatening legal action over a provision in the federal health-care reform bill that would shield Nebraska from the costs of expanding Medicaid programs — language that was inserted to win the support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), the attorneys general wrote that they consider the provision “constitutionally flawed” and demanded that it be stricken from the final bill.
On Christmas Eve, in a 60 to 39 vote, Senate Democrats overcame a Republican filibuster against President Obama’s call to remake the nation’s health-care system.
Nelson, the last holdout in the Democratic caucus, agreed to support the legislation after it was amended to exempt Nebraska from paying its share of the cost of expanding Medicaid programs. Under the provision, the federal government would permanently pick up the tab for the expansion, at an estimated cost of $100 million over 10 years.
Full story here.