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The Stumbling Block to Health-Care Bill

A paragraph added at the last minute to the health-care bill is causing a road block with many of the lawmakers. The paragraph which promised a $100 million dollar promise in form of federal government aid for extra poor people joining Medicaid in Nebraska is being questioned by many including the Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson who says he has not asked for it and would like to do away with it.

Medicaid the government’s health insurance program created in 1960s for low income individuals is paid jointly by federal government and states based on states ability to share the cost. Under the Senate bill, the government will pay the entire cost for Medicaid expansion during 2014-2016. After this date the cost will be shared by state and federal government. The current bill then goes to insure that federal government will continue to pay the whole amount for Nebraska.

The cost of this lifetime provision for Nebraska is estimated at $100 million dollars and will not only be paid by federal government but indirectly will be shared by other states, therefore creating inequality and imbalance among the states in the union. Historically states at certain times of duress have been able to get more government funding but never a major social program was  funded through special incentives provided by legislation benefiting only one state.

One solution to the hurdle a proposal suggests that every state be allowed to cancel the expansion of Medicaid after 2016 when the federal government will stop paying for the program. The negotiations continue in order to resolve the issue and are continued in order to investigate the constitutionality of the proposal.

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