I’m glad that someone is taking a look at the provision in the recently passes Senate health care reform bill that has Nebraska’s medicare Medicaid reimbursement at a full 100%. The Courant’s Christopher Keating reports:
In a move being made by other states, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell called for legal action Wednesday if Nebraska receives more Medicaid money than the other 49 states as part of the national health care bill.
Rell wrote a letter to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal regarding a provision inserted into the massive federal legislation that would fully fund Medicaid for the home state of Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat. The provision has been widely reported as part of the many deals struck to reach a compromise on health care.
Across the country, attorneys general in at least seven states are voicing similar concerns about the Nebraska compromise and questioning its legality.
The Senate vote on the bill is scheduled at 8 a.m. Thursday. The Christmas Eve vote is highly unusual as the Senate has not been in session on that day in the past 46 years.
Unlike Connecticut, Nebraska would be able to receive 100 percent reimbursement of its Medicaid costs if the provision is enacted and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Currently, Connecticut receives 50 percent of the cost for Medicaid, which is a federal-state program that provides health care for the poor.
“The inequity of this provision is astonishing,” Rell wrote Wednesday in her letter to Blumenthal. “The doling out of favors for senators is appalling. The cost of this federal health care bill is beyond comprehension because of all the special provisions included to garner the 60 votes for passage.”
“By the time Washington finishes with this proposal and drops it at the taxpayers’ doorsteps, it will be monstrous,” Rell said. “The Senate may get their votes, but the American taxpayer will get the bill. The best Christmas gift Congress could deliver to the American people would be to strip out every special consideration, every gift, every piece of pork and concentrate on the heart of the matter – real and affordable reform.”
Right on. Strip them out, but then wouldn’t that derail Chris Dodd’s attempt at erasing his very negative polling numbers in Connecticut? From another story, this time from Politico’s John Bresnahan:
I think Rell is thinking along those lines too, not to say the Nebraskan Medicare Medicaidlargess is particularly bad for Connecticut when you consider that the medicare tab for the state is about 20% of the budget, or 3,724 million. About half of that is covered by the feds, so that leaves 1.8 billion on the hook for Connecticut Taxpayers.