Republican AGs probe health care deal Thanks Longknife

Posted: 12/24/2009 by Lynn Dartez in 2011
Wednesday, December 23, 2009By Stateline.org Staff Reports
The Republican attorneys general of Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Washington State are threatening to challenge as unconstitutional a provision written into the U.S. Senate’s national health care bill that cuts a special deal for Nebraska.The prosecutors’ effort is led by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who was asked by South Carolina’s U.S. senators — both Republicans — to investigate, The State newspaper reported. McMaster is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in South Carolina.At the center of the investigation is whether the federal government can pick up the full cost of expanding Medicaid — the state-federal health insurance program for the poor — in Nebraska, but not in other states. U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska secured the deal for the Cornhusker State is exchange for his crucial vote in favor of health-care legislation. The arrangement since has come under withering criticism from Republicans across the country, including Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R).“States generally are treated in a similar manner,” McMaster said, according to The State. “In this case, Nebraska will be treated in a widely divergent manner than any other state.”

“The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Several prosecutors probing health care deal

They question the constitutionality of ‘Nebraska compromise’

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updated 6:27 p.m. PT, Tues., Dec . 22, 2009//

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina’s attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and his counterparts in Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas and Washington state — all Republicans — are jointly taking a look at the deal they’ve dubbed the “Nebraska compromise.”

“The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

McMaster’s move comes at the request of Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.‘We have serious concerns’
In a letter to McMaster, Graham singled out the deal to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote on the massive health care bill the Senate is expected to adopt Thursday. Nelson held out as fellow Democrats worked to get 60 votes to foreclose a GOP filibuster and the bill was amended to shield Nebraska from the expected $45 million annual cost tied to expanding Medicaid programs.

“We have serious concerns about the constitutionality of this Nebraska compromise as it results in special treatment for only one state in the nation at the expense of the other 49,” Graham and DeMint wrote.

Nebraska wasn’t alone in getting Medicaid breaks. Vermont, Louisiana and Massachusetts also got help with their programs.

Along with Texas, officials in Washington, Alabama, Colorado and Michigan confirmed they were working with McMaster.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said he wasn’t sure what could be done while the federal legislation remained under debate. Officials in the other states did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Tennessee’s Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey called for his state’s attorney general to investigate the deal.

Ramsey, McMaster and Michigan’s Mike Cox are running for governor in their states.

“Whether in the court of law or in the court of public opinion, we must bring an end to this culture of corruption,” McMaster said. The negotiations “on their face appear to be a form of vote buying paid for by taxpayers,” he said.

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‘We’ll assist anyone’
McMaster is encouraging a South Carolina citizen to step forward to sue to challenge the measure if it is signed into law. “We’ll assist anyone to the extent that we’re able,” McMaster said.

Also Tuesday, U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Republicans need to stop complaining about deals their colleagues made.

“Rather than sitting here and carping about what Nelson got for Nebraska, I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: Let’s get together and see what we can get for South Carolina,” Clyburn said.

For instance, Clyburn expects states will get more help covering Medicaid expansion costs. Critics say the federal government’s coverage of 91 percent of those future costs will disappear, leaving states with huge holes in their budgets. Clyburn says the legislation the federal share should be 95 percent, with states picking up no more than 5 percent.

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Comments
  1. Longknife 21 says:

    I saw That the Georgia Gov. has instructed his AG to look into this, also.
    Where is Oklahoma? And Louisiana? Oh, they got a BIG bribe too!

  2. Longknife 21 says:

    I Emailed Greg Abbott, Attorney General, and Gov. Rick Perry to encourage them to fight this huge boondoggle of ObamaCare. I also stated that if the Socialism in the Federal Gov’t can not be stopped that the States should secede and Texas should lead. I sincerely believe that is the only way to preserve our Constitutional Republic for ourselves, and others who may join us, and perhaps restore it to the Union.
    I tried to copy and paste the whole letter, but couldn’t get it to work.Oh Well!

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