Fox News reports that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) said he may ask for a Nebraska earmark in the health care bill to be removed.
The deal, granted Nebraska federal funding in perpetuity for a Medicaid expansion — something no other states got — and has become political ammo for Republicans, who’ve been calling it the “Cornhusker Kickback.” Nelson got the deal, reportedly, for accepting a compromise on abortion language.
Though he defended the exemption as a “fair deal,” he said he never asked for the full federal funding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ended up granting his state. Nelson said he instead asked that states be allowed to refuse an expansion of Medicaid.
“This is the way Senate leadership chose to handle it. I never asked for 100 percent funding,” he said.
Nelson has maintained that the only reason he even brought up Medicaid was that Nebraska Republican Gov. Dave Heineman put him up to it.
Nelson also said three lawmakers have told him they’re seeking similar deals for their states.