My Bad: Ben Nelson Asks Reid to Remove 'Cornhusker Kickback' from Health Bill

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Posted: Jan 15, 2010 3:22 PM
Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska today asked Harry Reid today to remove the deal he secured for his state in Medicaid funding from the health care reform bill, most likely in response to "weeks of unrelenting political blowback," Roll Call reports. 

Nelson contends that a $100 million deal he extracted for Nebraska in December to pay the state’s cost of a proposed Medicaid expansion was misunderstood. He said it was intended to act as a placeholder to ensure that all states received similar treatment once negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate bills commenced.

But after weeks of criticism from Nebraskans and fellow Democratic Senators and a backlash that extended nationwide for a deal that came to be known as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” Nelson on Friday sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asking him to strip the provision from the reform bill.

In his letter, Nelson asks that the Nebraska-only measure be replaced with one that would exempt all states from paying the cost of a proposed Medicaid expansion. However, his letter appears to make clear that regardless of whether that request is granted, he wants the provision affecting Nebraska removed.

Read Nelson's letter here.