Senator McLachlan, Coalition of Senate Republicans Call on Attorney General Blumenthal Join in Fighting Federal Healthcare Reform “Sweetheart Deals”

January 10, 2010

Proposed Deals Could Cost Connecticut Residents Money, Healthcare Benefits

Hartford, CT – A coalition of Senate Republicans today called on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) to join a growing number of attorneys general across the nation in fighting a proposed aspect of the federal healthcare legislation. Specifically, the coalition is concerned about a provision which would allow for Nebraska to receive approximately $100 million in Medicaid expense exemptions in exchange for a “yes” vote from Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) on the healthcare reform bill.

“This special exemption for Nebraska will do nothing but push the financial burden onto other states in the union,” said Senator McLachlan. “At a time when so many states are facing financial hardship it seems not only unconstitutional but also irresponsible and unjust to trade votes for these exemptions. These sweetheart deals are shameful abuses of power and I urge Attorney General Blumenthal to join the fight against this proposal and ensure that all states are treated equally.”

Senator Dan Debicella (R-21), Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36), Senator Rob Kane (R-32) Senator John A. Kissel (R-7), Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35), and Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) also signed the letter to Mr. Blumenthal asking him to join the investigation into the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback.” A copy of the letter is attached.

Governor Rell sent a similar letter to Mr. Blumenthal in December asking him to investigate. According to Governor Rell, if Connecticut received the same benefit being offered to Nebraska, the state could receive more than $260 million annually in federal reimbursement. If the bill passes and includes the Nebraska provision, Governor Rell has asked Mr. Blumenthal to pursue legal action to ensure Connecticut also receives the 100% reimbursement rate for Medicaid expenses.

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