The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina's attorney general said Tuesday.
Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and his counterparts in Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas and Washington state " all Republicans " are jointly taking a look at the deal they've dubbed the "Nebraska compromise."
"The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution " as well as other provisions of federal law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.
McMaster's move comes at the request of Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
December 23, 2009
AUSTIN " Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter asking other governors to join him in ongoing efforts to assert the constitutional rights of states as guaranteed under the 10th Amendment with regard to the federal health care bill being forced through by Congress. He urged the governors to support and join efforts by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and several other state attorneys general to determine the constitutionality of a compromise in the pending federal health care legislation exempting the state of Nebraska from increased Medicaid costs resulting from the bill’s passage.
"As the chief executive officers of our individual sovereign states, we must stand up to this unprecedented intrusion in to our lives and the rights of our citizens. We must demonstrate resolve in the face of this infringement,” Gov. Perry wrote in the letter. “Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is joining with several other state attorneys general to place this deal under proper scrutiny, to determine if such an exclusion is unconstitutional. His office, along with mine, will continue to explore all options available to us as we attempt to minimize the damages that can be caused to Texans by this ill-advised piece of legislation."
In Texas, this health care bill will cost up to $21 billion over the next 10 years, adding an estimated 2 million more people to our Medicaid rolls.