Ben Nelson Gets $500M for VA Hospital – Loses Respect and Integrity

This morning there were reports that Senator Ben Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback for his state of Nebraska is still in the health care bill, then I heard that his bribe is on the cutting room floor, and now PowerLine says there is yet another deal for the Nebraska senator.

Former Senator Ben Nelson

Senator Ben Nelson

PowerLine March 19, 2010: 

Now Rowan Scarborough reports that the Obama administration has delivered another budget plum to Nelson and the state of Nebraska, adding more than a half-billion dollars for a new veterans hospital in Omaha.

Scarborough notes that the move reverses a decision by Mr. Obama’s own Veterans Administration of a year ago, which called for repairing an existing hospital. Nelson’s spokesman rejects the idea the new hospital was awarded in exchange for the senator’s health care vote.

Is the Cornhusker Kickback in or out? It depends on who you believe. This report says it has been cut and the Washington Post reports the same. So Nelson walks away with a half-a-billion dollars, and leaves his dignity and decency behind.

Senator Nelson has long been a pro-life senator. He sold his soul to the Obama administration when offered Medicare funds for his state, and in accepting the bribe, he sacrificed his constitutient’s right not to be forced to pay for the abortions of others. What a terrible right to deny those you represent. What a huge fall-from-grace for this formerly pro-life senator.

From the Wall Street Journal December 2009:

Clearly, the senator’s fall in public esteem is a direct reaction to his having voted for the health care bill as part of a deal in which Nebraska was exempted from the costs of new federal Medicaid mandates.

The ObamaCare bill was already unpopular enough in Nebraska but became even more so when state residents discovered they would be saddled with it anyway, plus exposed to national ridicule over Mr. Nelson’s sweetheart deal.

I doubt the senator is sleeping well these days, but maybe he thinks the VA hospital will bear his name.

Linked by Memeorandum – Health-vote ally Nelson to get new VA hospital for Nebraska