Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) told constituents Saturday that he expects that the deal cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) to secure his vote will be cut from the final health care reform bill.
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"Well, whether that provision was legal or illegal, it shouldn't have been done," Feingold said. "I understand that Sen. Ben Nelson has already indicated he knows he's probably not going to get it in the end. I think it's going to get stripped from the bill."
Nelson secured federal funding for a Medicaid expansion in Nebraska in perpetuity. Other states have partial funding, or 100 percent funding for a few years. Only Nebraska has such a complete deal.
Today, asked about growing criticism over the Nelson deal, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama "understands greatly the fiscal situation that governors find themselves in." He was asked if Obama would consider Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's idea to extend the Nelson deal to all states, and said it was "part of the discussion."