Nebraska Senator for Sale—Cheap!
Ben Nelson was easily bribed, writes Michael Gerson
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 4:19 AM CST
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, following a series of votes.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – There's a fine line between bribery and political maneuvering and Harry Reid's brazen buyoff of Ben Nelson was nowhere near it, writes Michael Gerson. The Nebraska senator was granted an exemption on the state paying its share of Medicare expansion that will add up to $100 million over 10 years without even having to explain why Nebraska deserves it, Gerson complains in the Washington Post.

Nelson sold out his own pro-choice beliefs, Gerson writes, by accepting a compromise that means Nebraska taxpayers will be required to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions in other states. "In a single evening, Nelson managed to undermine the logic of Medicaid, abandon three decades of protections under the Hyde Amendment, and increase the public stock of cynicism," Gerson writes—and all for a deeply flawed health care bill, at the bargain price of $100 million. "It is the cheap date equivalent of Taco Bell."
 

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