Omaha, NE.—Former Senator Ben Nelson says that when voters said yes to Medicaid expansion last Tuesday, they were also saying yes to the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback.”
In an exclusive interview with News Channel Nebraska, Nelson—a Democrat— continues to defend his 60th and clinching 2009 vote for Obamacare and smilingly notes that he too voted for expanded Medicaid, which passed by a vote of 53-47.
While critics said the “Cornhusker Kickback” amounted to Nelson’s vote being bought and paid for he says he was simply working to make sure the federal government would reimburse Nebraska for any additional Medicaid costs.
Ben Nelson: We put in the bill a provision for $100 million for the State of Nebraska, that was a placeholder and I pulled it…what I tried to do was get it to be optional for the states. Then— the final version of the bill— that was in. The states had the option. And the option not to expand it continued until the people voted Tuesday to expand it. And that’s what the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ was all about.
NCN’s Joe Jordan: Do you feel vindicated in (last Tuesday’s) vote for Medicaid expansion?
Ben Nelson: I didn’t need to be vindicated. I knew what I did and I knew why I did it.
(See Joe’s Full Video Report Above—including Nelson’s response to those who say Medicaid expansion will bust the budget, forcing key cuts in education and stifling the possibility of property tax relief).