(p. 5A) WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week defended the now-defunct Nebraska Medicaid exemption that was tucked into the Senate health care bill as Reid sought the support of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
Nelson has said that he never asked for the exemption and that his goal all along was to provide relief for all states.
Tagged with the derisive moniker “Cornhusker kickback,” the arrangement quickly proved politically toxic.
. . .
Asked why he didn’t offer the same deal to every state from the start, Reid said, “Because I didn’t have it for everybody at that time. I thought I could get it as we moved along in the legislation, and I did.”
Van Susteren said: “You’re telling me that when Ben Nelson got that, when the two of you sat down together, you said, ‘Ben, we’ll do it this way. … Nebraska’s got it now, but after we get this passed we’re going to go for everybody?’ ” “No, no, no. He got this for himself. He wanted it,” Reid said.
For the full story, see:
JOSEPH MORTON. “Reid thought Nelson should boast of ‘kickback’; The Senate leader says it was a “terrific” Medicaid deal that all states now share.” Omaha World-Herald (Weds., April 7, 2010): 5A.
(Note: first ellipsis added; second ellipsis in original.)