From National Review:
The highest-profile Democratic hold-out on Obamacare, Nelson said last week, “My vote is not for sale.” He obviously meant that in the sense that he’d be righteously indignant at any suggestion that his vote could possibly be bought for anything less than the low nine digits.
Nelson got the feds to pick up forevermore 100 percent of the additional Medicaid spending that will be imposed on Nebraska by the bill.
This guy held out till the end, and in exchange for his vote the rest of the country will pick up the tab for Medicaid's expansion in Nebraska FOREVER. Stunning.
Even the ultra-liberal SF Chronicle is outraged. California will only have the Fed chip in 50% of its expanded spending on Medicaid, even thought its senators have been among the greatest supporters of healthcare reform. Instead, the biggest windfall was thrown to a last-minute holdout:
"Most outrageously, it seems that California is being punished for not playing political extortion on the issue. Its top leaders in Washington - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer - have been adamant about getting health care reform all along. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken up in support of reform. Because California's votes - and voters - could be counted on to support health care reform, we've gotten far less than states with "moderates," who are able to bully Congress into handing over more and more treats for their constituents."
Ben Nelson is now asking that Nebraska be stripped from the bill. Absolutely embarrassed by his actions, as he should be. Though probably not as much of a crook as Harry Reid, who orchestrated the bribe.
Three senators came up to me just now on the (Senate) floor, and said, 'Now we understand what you did. We'll be seeking this funding too'," Nelson said.
But the Democratic senator, who has faced a heap of criticism for appearing to trade his vote on health care for millions in federal Medicaid money, said he's considering asking that the Nebraska deal be stripped from the bill.