: "President Barack Obama is discussing ways to help U.S. states cover costs that are destined to rise under pending healthcare reform legislation, his press secretary said on Monday." A number of governors have "protested a special funding allocation for Nebraska in the bill. 'We're going to continue to work with governors,' White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, referring to the health care bill."
As part of the negotiations to win the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., the Senate bill included a provision in which the federal government agreed to pay for a proposed Medicaid expansion in Nebraska. Nelson has been sharply criticized for the deal, although other senators also arranged special programs or allocations for their states too. "Gibbs noted the economic stimulus plan passed nearly a year ago included subsidies for states' Medicaid programs." He also said that expanding some of Nebraska's deal to pick up the Medicaid expansion tab for all states is "certainly part of the discussion" (Lambert, 1/11).