All of a sudden, Ben Nelson’s saying that even if his abortion demands are met, he’s got a problem with the Medicaid expansion, parroting Governor Heineman’s claim that it must be shot down because it’s an “unfunded mandate.” Alec MacGillis of the Washington Post did a little fact-checking, comparing Nelson’s claims to the actual legislation, and demonstrated how shallow these concerns are (not that this would surprise anyone at this point).
Matthew Yglesias gets to the significant point, though:
Let me also note that this whole process has been going on for months and Medicaid expansion has been at the core from the beginning. Nelson has had plenty of opportunity to try to come up with ideas on this score, and didn’t. The bill is also phased in very slowly, so if he wants to tweak the details of financing Medicaid expansion he could easily do so in 2010 or 2011 or 2012 or 2013 or 2014 or 2015 or 2016 before Nebraska has to pay a single cent on this. Derailing the process at this point over the idea that paying 7.2 percent of the cost (!) of Medicaid expansion in 2019 (!) will bankrupt the state reeks of someone who’s searching for reason to say “no.”