Now he tells us?
Sen. Ben Nelson said Tuesday it was a mistake for the Obama Administration to take on massive health care reforms in 2009, and suggested efforts would have been better spent addressing the economy.
Nelson, who provided the crucial 60th vote to advance the bill toward Senate passage on Dec. 19, has been active ever since trying to explain his actions to Nebraskans. Ads have aired on television and Nelson is making the rounds with the state’s media.
He requested Tuesday’s interview with the Tribune.
“I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy,” he said.
Via the Fremont Tribune.
Check out Nelson’s latest spin on his Cornhusker Kickback. See, it’s all a misunderstanding. His special deal for Nebraska is really a special deal for everyone! There just wasn’t enough time to explain the whole “placeholder” thing in the treacherous rush to ram the thing down our throats, you see:
Nelson said the “Cornhusker Kickback” — $100 million that was included in the Senate bill to help Nebraska cover Medicaid expenses — was not intended to be a special perk for Nebraska, but rather a vehicle by which individual states could choose to opt out of federal funds for Medicaid in the future.
“Several of us have been concerned about the funding of Medicaid because it’s an unfunded mandate from the federal government. The federal government pays a portion of it and the state pays the rest,” he said.
“Under this program,” he continued, “there would be a whole new group of individuals who would qualify for Medicaid coverage. Until 2017 the federal government would pay 100 percent of that.”
The state would then start picking up some of the costs in 2017.
“The Congressional Budget Office could not, in the time frame we had, figure out what states would opt in and what states would opt out, and couldn’t put a number to it,” Nelson said. “So what they did is just put $100 million on Nebraska in a line item in there. It’s really nothing more than a place holder for us to deal with the issue in conference, which I’ve already started doing.
“There was never a time when I fought to get something only for Nebraska; not then and not now,” he added.
He’ll be in CYA mode for the next two years. Expect more Joker posters!
Two top state prosecutors are asking attorneys general across the country to let Washington know if they oppose the health care reform bill they say includes a political deal for Nebraska.
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and Oklahoma top prosecutor Drew Edmondson asked their colleagues Wednesday to call on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to remove the provision.