There are a host of reasons to question the devil’s bargain that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck to get the vote of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson for health care “reform.” In exchange for Nelson’s vote, Reid agreed to a provision forever exempting Nebraska from the increased Medicaid costs that will have to be borne by other states. Many people now are considering the constitutionality of that provision. In this piece, Colorado’s Attorney General raises questions about whether the provision would tax the states unequally and without rational basis, in violation of constitutional restraints on Congress’ taxing power.
I think the uproar about the Nebraska “Compromise” will continue to grow until Congress is forced to delete that provision from any eventual health care “reform” package. Every day, there seems to be fresh outrage about Nelson’s crass politicking and Reid’s willingness to go to any lengths to get 60 votes for his back-room bill.
At bottom, Nelson’s deal undercuts the arguments of those who contend that the health care “reform” package is a positive. If the bill is so great and so defensible on its merits, why must Reid nevertheless so blatantly buy Nelson’s vote?