Sen. Brown: 'You can bet' Nebraska's special deal on healthcare will be nixed

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) vowed Tuesday that a provision in the Senate's healthcare bill exempting Nebraska from additional Medicaid payments would be eliminated.

"You can bet that won't be law by the time that goes into effect," Brown said during a town hall meeting, as reported by the Toledo Blade.

Nebraska secured $100 million in funds to pay for its additional obligations to Medicaid under a deal struck in late December to win Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) crucial vote for the Senate's health reform bill.

Republicans had pounced on the provision, naming it the "Cornhusker Kickback," while trying to force politically embarrassing votes to either remove or expand the reimbursements. Brown's pledge marks some of the most pointed words directed by a fellow Democrat toward the deal Nelson secured.

Brown said that lawmakers would repeal the controversial measure before the new Medicaid obligations go into effect in 2016, the Blade reported.

Vermont and Massachusetts also received assistance under the Senate healthcare bill for their own obligations. The provision for the three states was said by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $1.2 billion over the next 10 years.