August 11th, 2009
11:59 AM ET
5 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. JS007

    This ad says nothing, and the money to run it is coming from the very corporations who are trying to stop reform. Senator Nelson is working for his corporate masters first, and people second, but the people are not going to take it any more.

    Some Democrats like Nelson are just as corrupt as Republicans, and need to be booted out of office in the next election.

    August 11, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. wait a minute

    My doctor friend told me that he would prefer a single-payer system, because it takes half of his time figuring out different forms for different insurance companies and resubmitting claims. He said he went to medical school to heal people, not to deal with these insurance companies. He would rather have one flawed system than many of them.

    August 11, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Daisy

    Where were these yahoos when the Patriot Act was passed?

    August 11, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Bill in California

    WOW, THIRTY WHOLE SECONDS to lay out his health reform principles. That would certainly sway my thought processes. I see more and more elected DIMRATS are headed for cover. They are in a NO WIN situation that their EMPEROR put them in. Good luck in 2010, better polish up those resumes.

    August 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Sam Sixpack

    Obama will balance the budget with the “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.

    Check out Obama's proposed “Independent Medicare Advisory Council.”

    August 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Speck

    I agree with concerned, I do not want my tax money paying for healthcare for illegals or people that won't try to help themselves. This was brought to the fore front with some of the katrina refugees. They did nothing for themselves and expected the government to do everything for them. Plus they griped that what volunteers were doing for them was not good enough,spit on them and cursed them.Also I see where the 2010 census will include illegal immigrants, what is right about that?

    August 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Jimmy the Greek

    I hope this GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER gets passed by Congress.... it's the SUREST way to remove Democrats and Obama from office.

    KEEP ignoring the MAJORITY of Americans against this scheme!!

    - Obama's approval UNDER 50%

    - 77% of Americans DO NOT BELIEVE Obama saying Healthcare will not add to the deficit.

    - 52% DISAPPROVE of this Healthcare plan (Aug 5 Quinnipiac Poll)

    August 11, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Let the blind remain blind, the deaf remain deaf, and the dumb remain dumb . . .

    Those who are against health care reform neither want the truth nor are they willing to listen to or accept the truth. They have covered themself in blankets of hostility and hate, and aren't about to budge, now or ever.

    Therefore, why should the rest of us even bother addressing the misconceptions, the lies, and the narrow minded stupidity?

    What a waste of time and effort. These people aren't worth the trouble.

    August 11, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter

    i don't know how you republicans can be against healthcare for ill eagles. Eagles are magnificent birds and the symbol of our great country. When one gets sick, we should help it get better. Fly on, proud bird. Have a nice day!

    August 11, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Robert

    I watched the Specter town hall this morning. What a bunch of loo loo's. One woman said that the the uninsured could be taken care of by the "goodness of the American people" rather than this public OPTION. Looney Tunes. Repub's are so dim.

    August 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Post always rejected by CNN

    He is NOT A DEMOCRAT....He ran as a Democrat to get elected this guy is a republican and the voters in his state should kick his butt out in the next election as they should do all the so called Blue DOGS cause that's what they are dogs of the lowest kind.

    August 11, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. wait a minute

    If we can free doctors' half time from doing paperwork for many insurance companies, we will instantly double the number of doctors available for patients. We need a single-payer, government-run health care system to save money for all of us.

    August 11, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Reformed Republican

    Nebraska first?

    Hey there cowboy, you're dealing with matters that effect the WHOLE COUNTRY. Think and act like a statesman, not a hack politican from a low population farming state that has been bought and paid for by the insurance and big pharma lobbys...

    IT'S AMERICA FIRST – Unless of course your a rethuglican...

    August 11, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Ray Ray

    Gee, why isn't Ben telling everyone, like Nancy & Stenny, that our dissenting voices are UN-AMERICAN?

    Pelosi, Obama, & Democrats = FASCIST STATE

    "WE are the leaders – YOU are the sheeple – now be quiet!!" – yea that's a great way to lead a democracy.

    August 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Get with THE PEOPLE Senator NOT your personal program/agenda.
    Your constituents are pressuring you to back Pres. Obama's healthcare program, and your response is blah,blah,blah.......none. Empty words. Double-speak. Self-aggrandizement.

    The voters have become more astute. Information is instantaneous. Either you represent your constituents according to their wishes, or you might as well 'pull a Specter' and switch to a Party more in line with your personal greed:GOP.

    August 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Hugo

    Great for Ben Nelson, Nebraska is one of the few States that saw this economic downturn coming and continues to operate in the black without the assistance of the FED. He is wise to stress his independence and distance himself from this bunch of left wing lying liberal garbage spewing freakshow actors participating in the show of the century called Congress!

    August 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. MomofFour

    "A source close to Nelson tells CNN that the Nebraska senator decided to have his campaign committee pay for the ad, because ....."

    his campaign committee = Insurance companies.

    Ben Nelson, you are a traitor and this will be your last term ever.

    Go President Obama !

    August 11, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. alvino

    I wish you right wing nuts would give up on your fantasy of death squads. I cannot believe you are that stupid. Oh wait, yes I can.

    August 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Frederick Smith

    The new health care should be for Americans that have worked and lived in this country for at least two years paying taxes just as those who are made at the system as it is...American Health care ..should be for American citizens only...Not for illegal aligns..as it is now ...

    August 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Sort of pointless, honestly. The GOPers do not want to be informed about the facts...they have already decided to oppose reform not matter what the substance of it is, because they see it as the achilles heel of Obama's administration, his legacy and his re-election bid in 2012. "Go for the kill." "This is his Waterloo." This is why, whether it's staged or not, they are attempting to shut down town hall meetings: they do not want accurate information disseminated in response to questions...ESPECIALLY THE ISSUES THEY ARE PRETENDING TO CARE ABOUT BASED ON MISINFORMATION...because it would ruin their fear-mongering. I liken it to a two-year-old putting its hands over its ear and shouting "LALALALALALALALALA!!!" at the top of its lungs.

    The Dems and others who would bother to listen to facts and information are already doing so...researching on their own and not purposefully misinterpreting the provisions of the bill they have read. Thus, the commercial time isn't necessary and probably not all that effective.

    August 11, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. fubarnomo

    This I do know, a close friend of mine a hard working american with a family makes a little under $15.00 a hour, typically 40 hours a week worked. His employer offers health coverage and they stated that as one of the benefits they offer employees... How is that a benefit if you pay for it .

    For a family of four my friends bi-weekly rate would be $385.00 so his pay check is well dented before he even gets it this employer has about 2000 employees. So he covers himself and his wife and the kids are on Florida kidcare program. Hard working yet getting screwed. But at least he has a job for now!!! Something needs to be done about the greed and excessive costs of everything.

    Everyone wants to separate us from our money as if we don't have lives push health care through we need it President Obama..

    August 11, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Life is for the living

    Obama's team should
    1. set up a registration page for people who are against the public option to put their names on.
    2. The rest of us who want the public option should have it, and,
    3. When things really start to get bad with the current insurance coverage that folks are up in arms to protect; they should be asked to wait a year to transition to the public option.
    4. No need to shout back. Common sense will prevail sooner or later.

    August 11, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Dave in Illinois

    What's hard to understand about wanting healthcare reform without wanting government run healthcare?

    Who would want the governement running a major part of the US economy after seeing what a miserable job they've done on previous programs like Medicare, Social Secuity, the Post Office, etc.? They're all going broke and will have to be bailed out by the taxpayers. You can't blame it all on the Repulicans like Obama, Pelosi and Reed try to do as these programs have been in trouble for decades because politicians are exceedingly poor business men.

    August 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Larry of Massachusetts

    Health care insurance is not the issue, it is the problem. Think about it. The customer is the patient and the service provider is the doctor. When you bring in a third party payer – an insurance company – between doctor and patient, you create prolems at several different levels. The person decidng how much the patient pays or how much the doctor charges is in the wrong hands. We should immediately get rid of the middle layer altogether and do away with health insurance, and instead, regulate health care costs. That is the only answer

    August 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "the Media wont Expose these lies and Mis Information!"

    Why would they do that? Pretending even the most insane of the insane comments has potential merit does two things: (a) avoids angering an entire half of th epotential viewing/reading/clicking market and (b) drums up something to play as a controversy. Debunking the misinformation and lies would show why there's really no controversy, just a bunch of uneducated, misinformed, partisan tribal morons screaming lies really loudly in order to hurt the opposing tribe. That lacks "newsiness" and would not help generate as much ad revenue.

    August 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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