August 11th, 2009
11:59 AM ET
9 years ago

First on the Ticker: Nelson buys TV time on health care

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a centrist Democrat up for re-election in 2012, is out with a new ad on health care reform.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a centrist Democrat up for re-election in 2012, is out with a new ad on health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN)– Under increasing pressure to support President Obama's approach to health care reform, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson has cut a new TV ad airing in his home state that explains his position on the issue.

Nelson, a centrist Democrat, has come under fire from liberal organizations for not standing squarely behind Obama when it comes to health care. Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are currently running a commercial featuring a Nebraska small business owner pleading with Nelson to prevent health care reform from being delayed.

In an unusual step, Nelson has taken to the airwaves in this new 30-second statewide ad to lay out his "principles" that he says are needed to institute health care reform even though he will not face the voters until 2012.

"You've probably been hearing a lot about health care reform," Nelson says in the commercial that will run for two weeks on broadcast and cable stations. "And like too much stuff that comes out of Washington it is hard to know what's fact and what's fiction. So, I want you to hear my principles straight from me. First, any plan must keep spending under control; help our small businesses; improve care; control costs; and most of all the plan needs to work for Nebraska. I'm Ben Nelson and I approve this message because you can count on me to always put Nebraska first. Always."

A source close to Nelson tells CNN that the Nebraska senator decided to have his campaign committee pay for the ad, because there has been "a lot of misinformation, confusion and commotion about health care reform.

"Senator Nelson sees it as an opportunity to get information out there unfiltered and as a way to connect directly with constituents," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "The senator sees this as an opportunity midterm to remind Nebraskans about his independence and thoughtfulness."

Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care • Nebraska
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Rush Goebbels

    Good idea Ben,maybe the cornheads will understand whats being said without interuption. Lets all call and email Rush Limbaugh today to tell him how we feel about his constant lying and fear mongering.Lets give him a dose of his own medicine and interupt his day.

    August 11, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. nebraska grandma

    I'm cracking up here. For those who don't know, Nebraska has two cities–Lincoln, our capitol, and Omaha, home of, yes, you betcha!, Mutual of Omaha. Sen. Nelson has been a DINO for years. Saying one is for "small business," etc., is so apple pie. What does that mean, exactly. Sen. Nelson is spending campaign funds on vague platitudes. What's his plan other than to make sure there's no public option to compete with insurance cronies?

    August 11, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter

    Public schools are socialism. I don't have children and never will. I don't see why my tax dollars should pay for your unremarkable child's education. It doesn't say anything about education in the constitution. All you mommies and daddies are lazy welfare cases looking for a handout. If you can't afford private school then too bad. Have a nice day!

    August 11, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Terry from West Texas

    "...keep spending under control; help our small businesses; improve care; control costs; and most of all the plan needs to work for Nebraska..."

    Now if that isn't a bunch of mealy-mouthed gobbledegook....

    So, is he for it or against it? If he's against it, how would he fix it? If he's against any reform in our health care system, then what do Nebraskans without insurance do.

    This courageous Senator has taken a firm stand for goodness, but he is clearly and irrevocably opposed to badness in all its forms. It took a lot of intestinal fortitude to take such a bold stand. But then, he did promise to go to Washington and make the hard decisions, didn't he?

    That whirring sound we all hear is Harry Truman spinning in his grave.

    August 11, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. T Mckinley

    I've been hearing, and reading a lot of comments from opponents of health care reform saying that we shouldn't have universal health care because, in their words, "the government can't run anything effectively."

    OK, if the government can't run ANYTHING effectively, then I propose that we get the government completly out of the military business. If private contractors and coorporations are really that much more efficient and effective, then lets put our entire military under their control.

    Just think of how much "wasteful government spending" could be cut if all the money to buy bombs, tanks, planes, missles, guns, ships, and salaries for military personel came from the private sector instead of from taxpayer money.

    A TRUE conservative would LOVE this idea. Less government, more private industry, and untold billions and billions in savings for the U.S. taxpayer, AND these private coorporations and contractors would be so much better at running our military than our "inefficient and ineffective government."

    The only problem is, how many TRUE conservatives exist in this country?

    August 11, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    I'm still waiting for someone to stand up and say how much this is going to cost and who's going to pay for it. But that's not going to happen. They don't know and if they guess, it's the government so you know they will guess low by about 300%.

    August 11, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    I can't understand why the Republicans want to protect Insurance Company profits (up 400% in 7 years).

    Maybe they're getting paid by the Insurance Companies?

    Why should Americans get lower insurance premiums and health care that won't be dropped or denied? We obviously work for the Republicans and the Insurance Companies.

    August 11, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Rob

    What Obama and Pelosi are trying to ram down our throats is ANYTHING but reform. It is destruction, plain and simple. Higher unemployment, increased taxes, and a government review board determining who gets what treatment.

    If it's so good for Americans than why did the Dems vote down the ammendment requiring Congress to be under the same plan? Can't answer that one, can you ya koolaid drinkers?

    August 11, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Kate in SW Fla

    Death panels. What a bunch of idiots. The democrats have worked for generations to push for programs that benefit children, the elderly, students, GIs, the disabled and the disadvantaged, programs all opposed by Republicans! Now all of a sudden they are being accused of wanting to extermintate and euthanize these same groups. If you believe that, it is only becasue you want to. It is ridiculous.

    August 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Deep Throat

    Why won't OBama just issue a short version of highlights of his health plan. All our worries may cease. But he stands his ground on not producing proof of what he is all about, birth certificate, health plan and how he will pay for all these debts he helping to pyle on.

    August 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. None Business

    Why doesn't this senator address the item on I believe page 59 of the proposed Health Care bill that says the government will have the right to go into anyone's banking account.

    NEVER MIND SOCIALISM, if THAT ISN"T COMMUNISM....I don't know what is!

    August 11, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Concerned

    I'm a veteran–I'm college educated: I work and pay taxes: I'm a so called hillbilly thats against this bill: I was willing to die for my country: I will not pay for health insurence for Illegal aliens, those who will not work at any pay scale because they think they are better than me: I will not be strayed by the white house when I see Obama say we will elinate choice in 10,15 or 20 years and they say thats not what he said: I will never support a gov. ran program when we have medicare, medicaid,social security, and all ran by the gov. and all are failures. No More, never again!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter

    The Death Panel would make a really great band name. Have a nice day!

    August 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Melissa

    Its time Democrats started supporting Democrats instead of defecting over to the Republicans in all but name only. An ad means nothing. Especially when the Blue Dogs ideas still screw over the people while favoring the rich.

    August 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. cedgar

    Senator I take issue with you! The health care bill will effect ALL
    AMERICAN not just in your state! So my messages to ALL Congress
    person and Senator's be prepared to answer ANY AMERICAN"S
    questions!!! The American public has strong views and must be
    listen too.
    C Edgar PA.

    August 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    •Sen. Nelson has received $1,195,299 from insurance interests, $399,345 from health professionals, $258,483 from the pharmaceutical industry, and $195,138 from hospital and nursing home interests.

    August 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Retired US Army

    From the Town Hall meetings I have seen on television I would think I was at an Eniglish soccer game pre-game party. I have never seen such rudness and uncivilized behavior before in American citizens participating in pulbic meetings. Nor have I ever wittnessed more propaganda based upon nothing in my life.

    This has become red neck politics at their worst. I hope the good Senator is able to get the word out through TV ads. So far the only truth I have come across is that if someone starts a statement about healthcare reform, the truth is.....they don't have a clue, and are just repeating what someoneelse has told them also based upon nothing.

    August 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. JV

    Why should the hard earned tax dollars that I pay go toward covering illegal immigrants in this health care plan? And if the dems have the votes to pass this in "reconciliation", why do they even bother trying to sell the public on this?

    August 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Sam Sixpack

    Why wouldn't Nelson agree with things like Obama's proposed “Independent Medicare Advisory Council.”

    It will save us lots of money by systematially denying coverage to leaches like the sick, the elderly and the disabled.

    Go ahead, google “Independent Medicare Advisory Council.”

    August 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Dennis

    Nelsons stance mirrors the majority of Nebrakans. If he votes for the health care bill, he loses his next election.

    August 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    Why wouldn't Nelson agree with things like Obama's proposed “Independent Medicare Advisory Council.”

    It will save us lots of money by systematically denying coverage to leaches like the sick, the elderly and the disabled.

    August 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. A. Goodwin

    Unlike Rethuglican's who will fall behind their leaders just because they told them to jump off a bridge, Democrats are actually sticking up for themselves by telling people like Nelson that HE IS WRONG. Interestingly, his words spell out exactly what health care reform is setting out to do! So, Mr. Nelson – why not back the Health Care Reform Bill?

    Oh yeah...maybe its because you are a sell-out to the insurance industry and American's have caught on.

    August 11, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Bld

    We cannot afford to let insurance company executives run our health care any longer. They have done a bad job of it, and their bad job gets worse every year.

    We don't provide health care for poor people and illegals for their benefit. We do it for OUR benefit. It isn't safe to have a lot of sick people running around spreading germs. That's why we need to take care of everyone (if being Christ-like isn't reason enough for you).

    August 11, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. A. Goodwin

    I love how Republican's love to say that "American's are agaist this health care bill."

    Yeah, so much so that 75% of ALL AMERICANS want health care. Where do you fools come up with this crap?

    August 11, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Rich

    First off, we need tort reform to control costs. Second,then we can have government try to institute a program of price controls and regulations on the medical industries. Third, grants and student aid designed specifically to help med students would be a reasonable step. As far as Ben Nelson goes, I personally think he is ducking the people of Nebraska by not standing personally in front of them and telling them what is good and bad about the current health plan going through congress. As goofy as my 2 senators from CA. are, at least they stand up in public. I just wish that both of them like this health care bill would just go away.

    August 11, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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