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  Nebraska Medicaid Deal May be Unconstitutional  
 

Politico (12/29, Barr) reports that "South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said Monday that the deal Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) struck with Senate leadership in exchange for his vote on healthcare reform 'represents corruption.'" McMaster has joined nine other "Republican state attorneys general [in] questioning the constitutionality of the Medicaid deal, which would exempt Nebraska from paying its share of the program's expansion in the state." He said the deal "represents corruption. ... It will cost 49 states money to have to pay Nebraska's share. We think that is unconstitutional."

 

        In its "Blog Briefing Room," The Hill (12/29, Romm, subscription required) also notes McMaster's comments, adding that there is "an implicit economic argument motivating states' legal action against Democrats' healthcare reforms." Many governors have "argued that a Medicaid expansion during a national budget crisis could further hamstring their finances, but only one state -- Nebraska -- was able to avoid the mandate."

 

        Top New York politicians spar over healthcare reform. The AP (12/29, Gormley) reports that federal healthcare reform legislation "is heating up New York politics, pitting the state's two top Democrats against each other and giving Republicans an opportunity to snipe at a side deal that swayed a key vote in the US Senate." US Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Gov. David Paterson (D) "are at odds over how good -- or bad -- the Senate version of the bill is for New York." According to Gov. Paterson, the state will "lose over $1 billion dollars if they don't fix" a "proposed lower rate of federal reimbursement for New York's Medicaid." Sen. Schumer accused Paterson of "counting as cuts items included in the House version of the bill, but not the Senate's."

 

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