Medicaid reform deal may be unconstitutional

A group of Attorneys General from seven states has begun an investigation of the constitutionality of a political deal made to win a vote for reform. The deal, which the AGs call the "Nebraska compromise," permanently exempts Nebraska from Medicaid costs that are paid by all other states.

Nebraska isn't the only state to get some form of Medicaid break: Vermont, Louisiana and Massachusetts would also receive help. But Nebraska would be the only state to be completely excused from paying an expected $45 million annual cost for expanding Medicaid programs. The deal was made to secure the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson (D) for the reform package.

AGs from Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas, Washington state and South Carolina have come on board with the investigation, which comes at the request of Sens. Lindsey Graham (R) and Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina.

To find out more about this dispute:
- read this Houston Chronicle piece

Related Articles:
Medicare, Medicaid cuts could amount to $240B over 10 years
Hospital finance impacted by hidden provisions of Senate health reform bill
Senate reform bill offers tax break for nonprofit health plans