Nelson reiterates call for relief of unfunded mandates

Friday, January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Today, as conferees continue to deliberate on a final health care bill, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson reiterated his position regarding the unfunded mandate contained in the Senate bill in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The text of the letter follows:

January 15, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

United States Senate

522 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510-0001

Dear Majority Leader Reid:

As a former Governor, I have long fought against unfunded federal mandates, which force our state governments to redirect their priorities and funding to meet rules imposed by Washington, D.C. In evaluating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, I was concerned that the Medicaid expansion in the bill represented an unfunded federal mandate since state governments would have to pay for new Medicaid enrollees after 2017.

After raising the issue of the unfunded mandate during Senate negotiations, a provision was added to exempt the State of Nebraska from paying any additional Medicaid funds as a result of the bill. This was intended to serve as a placeholder that would be removed during the conference negotiations and replaced with a mechanism applying to all state governments.

I request that this specific exemption for the State of Nebraska be removed, and that it instead be replaced with a provision giving all state governments the same treatment regarding the state match for the new Medicaid expansion.

I believe I have been clear that my intentions during all stages of negotiations were not that the State of Nebraska be given a special deal, but rather that all states be given the same tools to address an unfunded federal mandate. To remove any attempts at continued distortion or miscommunication on this point, however, I ask that the Nebraska Medicaid exemption be removed and that all states receive equal treatment under the Medicaid expansion.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to working with you on this matter as you continue to craft the final health care reform legislation.


E. Benjamin Nelson

United States Senator

View 12 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Sure Ben Nelson sure...I guess that's why you took your kickbacks and then after getting your own personal dirty deal done, you voted for the largest unfunded federal mandate in US history. Your a digusting hack Nelson and a bold faced LIAR. It's fitting that the dirty bird Warren Buffet called you courageous. Buffet loves to see Americans pay higher taxes and lobbies for it at every turn.

    Oh I'm sorry I seems that you also voted for and will vote for again all of us that aren't in unions like ACORN or the SEIU well then we get to fund your new Obamacare mandate by paying an extra 40% on our insurance policies that you are forcing us to buy from thos "evil insurance companies". Just one question Nelson you corrupt bribe taker: if this is all on the up and up uh why did you also vote for and angle for Mutual of Omaha to get an exemption? Nelson yu define corruption, you sicken me.

    -- Posted by SPQR_US on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 2:27 PM
  • I'll just add Ben Nelson: bribe taker: how does it feel to be hated by the public and your electorate, how's the Pizza? Get used to it this is no different than the treatment any other dictators & their cronies get in the 3rd world. That's the world you and your master Obama are making for you here in America. You are a traitor and a betrayor and we will work tirelessly to get you investigated indicted and run out of your pork filled kickback riddled office.

    -- Posted by SPQR_US on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 2:32 PM
  • This is one of the dumbest things I have seen in my life. Ben Nelson grabs the headlines for 4 days. His vote is bought, now he is giving back the payoff????

    This is a travisity.

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 3:35 PM
  • Well Ben if you really cared about unfunded mandates you should have refused to vote for this bill BEFORE it got put in, not expecting it to go to conference and be put in AFTER. Man this guy is shameless in trying to spin his way out of his vote.

    Is McCook still going to name the airport after him? What about his statue? Is it still going to be placed?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 4:22 PM
  • Hmmm?? This like shutting the barn door after the horse got classic move after another. It is sort of comical to see someone reaching up for something and their pants falling down. I've heard better excuses from a five year old after he ate all the cookies in the cookie jar.

    The famous boyhood "home" should be sent to where he lives along with the statue. So he could enjoy it. Most self-centered people are like that. Benedict really did make a fool of himself and the whole state of Nebraska.

    And what now???? Whatever he says now is like a mens room that has automatic hand dryers. Lots of hot air with the fresh smell of crap to go along with it. I'm sorry for saying that. (No, I'm not.) How else could it be described???

    -- Posted by edbru on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 8:53 PM
  • Hahaha. It's just comical now. Nelson is trying to save his hide with a letter to the Majority leader/public at large. We'll see how it goes, I guess.


    The simple answer to your question is yes, they are still doing the statue and airport re-naming.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, at 9:53 PM

    I guess old Ben believes the Dem spin that the reason the Sacred Kennedy Seat in the Senate is going to be lost has nothing to do with the Socialist Agenda that Ben Nelson is supporting. No wait he is not supporting it but he voted for it,,,.....before he changed his mind but forgot that his bought vote still counted.

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Jan 17, 2010, at 1:51 PM
  • He's a great POLITICIAN, BUT he got caught.

    Too many stories and he keeps changing the subject, thinking people will forget, BUT it appears he forgot all of the stories he was telling. Maybe he should have somebody keeping notes for him.

    If no body gives him any credit he will keep patting himself on the back thinking he is right.

    Hope hes got a good insurance policy, in case he dislocates his shoulder patting him self on the back!!!

    Keep it up BEN!!!!!!!!!! Your better than watching Walt Disney programs !!!!!!

    -- Posted by Just a reader on Sun, Jan 17, 2010, at 9:52 PM
  • If Ted Kennedy's seat is won by a Republican what is Democrat Ben Nelson going to do in a Republican state.

    I am sorry Ben got suckered in by his party.

    I actually used to support and gave a lot of money for his statue.

    He needs to listen to the people. They elected him.

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 8:28 PM
  • I called his office this morning and told then I was very happy about the Mass election and that he better withdraw his support of the healthcare bill. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

    Fact is you vote for a democrat or a republican no matter what they try to say to get elected you will get that parties agenda. Party trumps person in national elections.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 10:24 AM
  • I'm a registered Republican but I vote for the candidate I thing best represents the interest of the country and myself. I voted mostly Democrat this last time because I didn't like the way things were going with the group that was suppose to make a change, this group is trying to make a change but in the wrong direction. Goodbye Ben, you won't have my vote this time. Bye the way, why don't you just keep your mouth shut and keep your comments to yourself. Your a disgrace to the State Of Nebraska.

    -- Posted by salamat on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 4:28 PM
  • Yep and voting for those democrats brought us Harry Reid and Nency Pelosio and their agendas. How did the individual thing work out for you? Did they act as individuals when they got to Washington or did they toe the party agenda? Party trumps person in national elections.

    Whaen these guys get to Washington they are taken into a back room and it is explained to them they will either toe the party line or they will not get help with re-election or any good committee memberships. They then vote and allow vulnerable members to vote no if they have enough votes to give the appearance of independence but in reality it is all controlled by the party bosses. Just look at Ben and his "maverick" BS. in the end when it mattered he toes the party line.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Jan 22, 2010, at 11:21 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: