Ben Nelson has been taking a lot of heat for his last minute deal to secure federal funding to cover Medicaid in his home state of Nebraska. Turns out he wants to get the same gift for all states:
Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, has been under fire in recent days over his success in winning some plum provisions for his home state in exchange for his commitment to vote for the Democrats’ big health care legislation. But in a statement on Thursday, Mr. Nelson said he would fight for all states to get the same benefits as Nebraska — a move that some of his Senate colleagues had predicted as inevitable.
I guess he got a “sweetheart” deal. But come on. If your “pork” is money to pay for public health insurance for poor people, I really can’t get that upset about it. His “special interest group” is people making less than 133% of the poverty line? Yeah, that’s a fearsome lobby. We better put a stop to them immediately.
I wish more legislators were so “corrupt”.
UPDATE: Austin Frakt points out to me that:
But really what [Nelson’s deal] is for is freeing up state money for other things. So, it’s only good for the poor as a side benefit.
I agree that Nelson was getting money for his state, but really – this wasn’t for a company or lobbyist or even the Ben Nelson Bridge. If you have to get pork for your state, getting it for Medicaid has to be one of the least offensive ways to do it. I concede it’s unfair that Nebraska gets what other states don’t, but of all the things to come out of health care reform, this isn’t the one that gets me the angriest.