The Corner

Ben Nelson Has ‘No Regrets’

 

With numerous GOP candidates citing the process to pass Obamacare as a mark against Democrats, I asked Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) today whether he regrets negotiating for a Nebraska Medicaid provision that Republicans like to call the “Cornhusker kickback.”

Nelson brushes off the notion that the “kickback” is haunting Democrats this fall. “I don’t regret trying to blow the whistle on $35 billion in unfunded mandates that were being passed onto the states — I was a whistle-blower,” he says. “If I’m disgruntled, it is because the GOP, before the ink was even dry, misrepresented the intent I had, which was to get the Medicaid expansion, the unfunded mandates, paid for or reduced for all the states and not just for Nebraska.”

“The way they jumped out and used my state’s nickname was very unfortunate,” Nelson says. “They knew what they were doing.” Still, the nickname, he acknowledges, is part of “rough and tumble politics.”

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