King joins 9 AGs questioning healthcare bill
U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, was able to negotiate the changes in exchange for his vote in favor of the bill. He was the necessary 60th vote.
"This is no sweetheart deal, it is a backroom deal of the worst kind," King said in a statement. "Alabama, whose citizens overwhelmingly oppose the current healthcare plan, should not be asked to subsidize vote buying by the Senate leadership. If a bill is so deficient that it lacks sufficient support to even reach a vote; it should either be re-written or die. It should not be kept alive by buying the vote of one state's Senator at the expense of the taxpayers in 49 other states. Perhaps worst of all, the Senate's brazen action -- which was taken in the name of providing healthcare to all --could actually result in denying healthcare to the poorest and neediest across the nation."
King, a Republican, participated in a conference call of the 10 attorneys general on Tuesday to discuss the so-called "Nebraska Compromise." They discussed possible legal concerns to the Senate version of the bill, which is expected to pass Thursday. The Senate version is different from the version passed earlier by the House and will require a conference committee between the two chambers to hammer out the differences.
"No one questions that the Nebraska Compromise is patently absurd," King said. "The question is whether it is also unconstitutional. We are evaluating whether it is, and, if it is, what our oaths require us to do to defend the Constitution. If the Senate refuses to contemplate these serious constitutional questions and concerns, then we will."
Gov. Bob Riley and Medicaid Commissioner Carol Herrmann-Steckel have also expressed concerns about the deal created for Nebraska.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen