Edmondson joins fight against Nebraska Medicaid perk
Attorney General Drew Edmondson is one of a handful of states attorneys general who are asking for clarification on a plan to offset Medicaid increases hatched during the Senate negotiations on the national health care reform bill. Nebraska Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson cut the deal in exchange for his support of the Senate health care plan.
Officials in other states that will have to pay the Medicaid costs are questioning whether the provision is constitutional. Charlie Price, a spokesman for Edmondson said, the AG is already conferring with attorneys general in other states.
Most of those officials are Republicans, criticizing a Democratic backed deal. Edmondson, who is running for governor, is a Democrat. Edmondson’s efforts to scrutinize the legislation are legitimate. Oklahoma gets a lot of federal dollars for Medicaid. If this provision went through it could impact on health care dollars flowing into the state. The U.S. House and Senate have to reconcil the difference between each chamber’s version of the bill before a final measure is presented to the President.
And in an election year, it doesn’t hurt Edmondson’s image to oppose a measure promoted by Democrats and President Obama. Obama got paltry support in Oklahoma in his bid for the presidency as every county in Oklahoma voted in favor of McCain. Public support for health care reform in Oklahoma hasn’t been widespread either.
It’s early in the election year, but nationally Republicans are already currying favor with voters by contrasting their views with President Obama’s. In a red state like Oklahoma, it might even work for Democrats.
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