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GOP AGs may sue over health bill

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Thursday, Dec 24th, 2009

On the eve of an historic Senate health care reform vote, more than half of the Republican state attorneys general have organized to provide a legal analysis of the constitutionality of a controversial provision in the Senate bill and to explore potential legal challenges.

The provision in question is the result of a deal Senate Democratic leaders struck with Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson to win his critical vote. Under the agreement—dubbed the “Nebraska Compromise” or the “Cornhusker Kickback” by GOP critics—Nebraska will get an exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion, a carve out that is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.

South Carolina GOP Attorney General Henry McMaster, who is leading the effort, said the intent is to determine whether Congress had the power to allot funds to Nebraska differently from other states.

“I think it’s unprecedented to have this use of federal power,” said McMaster. “We heard about it, read about it, decided something needed to be done about it.”

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This article was posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 5:06 am

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