AG King says no to Nebraska senator Nelson

(Montgomery) – Alabama Attorney General Troy King says that Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s offer to include the other 49 states in the Nebraska Compromise Medicaid expense exemption is, “unacceptable under any and all circumstances.”

Attorney General King and twelve other attorneys general formed a group in December that objected, on constitutional grounds, to the special deal given by the United States Senate to the state of Nebraska in return for Senator Nelson’s key vote on the so-called healthcare reform package.

That deal exempts Nebraska exclusively from having to pay for the expense of new Medicaid recipients that will be created by the healthcare bill, while all other states will be forced to find funding for the expansions. The exclusive exemption will allow Nebraska taxpayers to avoid $100 million in new Medicaid costs.

“Thursday night, Senator Nelson called South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and offered to give all states their own version of the Nebraska Compromise in return for our attorneys general group calling off the dogs,” said King. “Attorney General McMaster’s response was exactly correct – we reject Senator Nelson’s offer.”

Attorney General King said, “This issue has never been about healthcare reform legislation; rather, it is about upholding the Constitution. I cannot stop the United States Senate from making shady deals and passing bad legislation, but I can object to a violation of the Constitution and take actions as attorney general to stop it.”

Attorney General King said that his public statement on December 31, 2009, still stands.

In that statement, Attorney General King said that he and his fellow attorneys general agreed that, “if the highest ranking members of the United States Senate were unwilling to respect their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution as they considered one of the most important public policy issues in generations, we would.”

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