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McMaster threatens litigation with health care bill

Jenny Decker RN's picture

Thirteen attorneys general have challenged the so-called Nebraska Compromise. In a letter sent to Associated Press on Wednesday, South Caroline Attorney General Henry McMaster is leading the challenge of the Constitutionality of the health care bill and what he calls the “Cornhusker Kickback”. In short, if this provision of allowing Nebraska out of having to pay for the newly eligible Medicaid persons and requiring the 49 other states to pay for Nebraska’s end is not cut out of the health care bill, a lawsuit is highly possible with the health care bill.

The thirteen states that are threatening the litigation are South Carolina, Washington, Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Alabama, North Dakota, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Utah, Florida, Idaho, and South Dakota. Citizens of Nebraska have also questioned how constitutional the compromise for the health care reform bill is.

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The Senate passed its version of the health care bill with a 60-39 vote on Christmas Eve. However, Harry Reid compromised with Ben Nelson (D-Ne) for his vote. Chairman of Nebraska’s Republican Party was questioning if anyone would sue Senators Ben Nelson and Harry Reid, as well as Nebraska. She wondered why the state of Nebraska shouldn’t have to pay for its end of Medicaid. Is it lawful for Congress to buy out votes? Does this take away the freedoms of the American people?

The letter from the thirteen states basically states that litigation will not occur if the provision is scratched from the health care bill. However, if it continues, litigation is guaranteed. McMaster and the other attorneys general offer help with consideration of the issue at hand with the health care reform bill.

With the committee meeting next month to work out a compromise between the House and the Senate, this letter will be a high priority it is hoped. The talks over the bill could take as long as a month. The final bill must then be approved by both the House and the Senate before it can then move on to President Barack Obama for final signature into law.

The thirteen states will be closely monitoring the situation. The letter also states that just because they have singled out the provision that relates to the special treatment of one state does not mean there are not other legal problems associated with the proposed health care reform legislation. Nebraska should not receive any special treatment just to secure a vote to pass the health care legislation. A lawsuit may be pending if the measure is not taken out of the final bill.