As you’ve probably heard by now, the U.S. Senate cleared an important hurdle over the weekend in their efforts to further politicize the delivery of medical care and health insurance in America.
It should also come as no surprise that political backroom deals and favors were involved. In particular, Sen. Ben Nelson (D – Nebraska) needed a little “convincing”. According to this N&O article, “Nelson won a list of benefits for Nebraska including a commitment for the federal government to pick up the full tab of an expansion of Medicaid.”
As my Civitas colleague Marianne Suarez noted recently, the Senate’s proposals to expand Medicaid would impose an additional $600 million annual burden on taxpayers here in North Carolina. But to get Sen. Nelson to sign on, a provision was included to force taxpayers across the nation bail out Nebraska (along with Mass. and Vermont) from their rising Medicaid burdens. As this article in The Hill notes:
Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its state Medicaid program under provisions negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in the Senate’s healthcare reform bill.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) informed lawmakers on Sunday night that the section of the manager’s amendment to the Senate’s health bill would cost $1.2 billion over 10 years.
Nelson managed to win a share of the section of the manager’s amendment on Equitable Support for Certain States, which will provide Nebraska, along with Massachusetts and Vermont, support in paying its share of additional costs to Medicaid in the health legislation.
So not only would North Carolinians have to pony up another $600 million to finance our own Medicaid expansion, but thanks to “vote buying we can believe in” we would be forced to subsidize a share of $1.2 billion in Medicaid expansion in three other states as well.
If you think the process to pass this “health care reform” legislation has been ugly, just wait until you see how it will be administered.