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Feb 4, 2010 1:43 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Sweet deal for Louisiana in Health Bill

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is defending a special deal in the health care bill for the federal government to pick up more of the cost of a Medicaid expansion in her state.

She made the argument Thursday in a defiant speech on the Senate floor.

The health care legislation is in limbo, and Landrieu said she doesn't know what will happen with it. But with President Barack Obama and others criticizing backroom deals that were cut to get the legislation through the Senate, Landrieu is taking no chances that her $300 million deal will be sacrificed in last-minute negotiations.

She argued that the deal was not a trade-off for her vote and said she did it with bipartisan support to help the people of Louisiana.

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