As part of the deal to get Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to vote for cloture, he got a sweetheart deal forcing the federal government to pay for all of Nebraska’s Medicaid’s costs. This has a lot a pols and pundits carping about how this was a bribe and how unfair it is to the rest of the other 49 states.
Was it a “bribe?” No. Congress critters do deals like this all the time. Bribe’s are what they get from lobbyists to vote against the will of their constituents. Is it unfair to other states? Absolutely. But this illustrates the inherent unfairness with Medicaid funding, forcing states to pony up for a federal mandate.
Maybe, just maybe, this deal will result in significant Medicaid reform, on the long march to real health care reform.