LOS ANGELES (Jan. 6) – Look at it as sibling rivalry between states.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning urged the California congressional delegation to vote against the federal health care reform legislation unless the state receives the same kind of sweetheart deal Sen. Ben Nelson squeezed out for Nebraska.

Nelson was crucial to passage of the Senate version of health care reform, and his vote was won with a promise that the federal government would cover Nebraska's costs under a proposed expansion of the Medicaid system.

But in his final State of the State address, Schwarzenegger said the federal plan – "A trough of bribes, deals and loopholes," he called it – would cost already-cash-strapped California billions more.

"While I enthusiastically supported health care reform, it is not reform to push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states are getting sweetheart deals," he said. "California's congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal that Sen. Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State."

Nebraska, he said, "got the corn, and we got the husk."

Attorneys general from more than a half-dozen states are looking into the "Nebraska compromise" to see if there might be legal grounds to challenge it.

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