The High Price of Ben Nelson's Low Vote

Democrat Ben “Dover” Nelson, who had previously threatened to join a GOP filibuster of the Senate Health Care Bill, proved today that everything has a price – including a man’s values.  The Nebraska Senator just accepted what I’ll generously describe as an enormous “monetary incentive” to do a complete 180 on his long-time position on abortion funding and thereby gave this awful legislation life with his 60th all-Democrat vote.

Earlier this month, Nelson insisted that he would not support a bill without stronger anti-abortion language:

"I've said at the end of the day if it doesn't have Stupak [strong protection against federally-funded abortions] language on abortion in it I won't vote to move it off the floor."

But Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “Manager’s Amendment,” which supposedly swung Nelson’s vote, includes no such language.  Rather than explicitly prohibiting use of Federal funds for abortion, as in Stupak, Nelson signed on to the idea of instead allowing states to “opt-out” of abortion coverage in their own public exchanges. 

Why the change of heart?

It appears that the current health care bill’s plan to insure about 30 million uninsured Americans includes a provision to move a good portion of them onto the Medicaid rolls. Needless to say, that’s quite the unfunded mandate to force upon the budgets of our already cash-strapped states.

But there’s one state that today was guaranteed immunity from such a budget-annihilating burden -- Nebraska.  While 49 other states will be forced to scramble and cut and tax and reappropriate in order to meet the new mandates, Nelson’s home state won’t.

That’s because Nelson sold his vote for Reid’s assurance that the feds will pay 100% of any new Nebraska Medicaid costs -- forever.

And that leaves non-Nebraskan taxpayers picking up the tab – forever.

This sordid sell-out certainly represents a new low in opprobrious political payoffs. 

Scream loudly about this one.

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