In this photo taken March 1, 2017, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks in New York. House Republican leaders want to shift more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs from upstate counties to the New York State government. The provision would help mostly Republican-controlled counties that have struggled to subsidize Medicaid payments for the poor. New York City wouldn’t get the same relief. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Republicans target New York state in health care bill

March 21, 2017 - 2:25 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders want to shift more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs from upstate counties to the New York State government.

The provision would help mostly Republican-controlled counties that have struggled to subsidize Medicaid payments for the poor. New York City wouldn't get the same relief.

GOP leaders made the change in the health care bill to win over Republicans.

Democrats quickly labeled it the "Buffalo Bribe."

The proposal evoked memories of the "Cornhusker Kickback," a Medicaid sweetener added to the Democratic health care bill in 2009 to secure support from then-Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Republicans slammed the Nebraska proposal as a backroom deal — a charge that Democrats hurled back at them eight years later. Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter called it "a political sleight of hand."

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