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. Mississippi Mike

    What an incredible waste of his money. He's only going to make himself look worse because people disagree with the basic idea of the bill as well as the details.

    August 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Sam Sixpack

    Only true believers with straw-man arguments are allowed to ask questions at the staged town hall meetings. That isn't "debate" it is deception.

    If you want to know how we're going to pay for this just look up 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.

    Check it out!

    August 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Larry Gelok

    If one of these people who is not for reform on health care loses ther lifes savings due to an illness ( because they reached there max coverage, or the insurance carriers drop their coverage), I'm sure they would change there mind. Does anybody notice how large the insurance company buildings are? That's alot of heath care dollars not going towards health care! I just want the same health care policy as my Senator has and do want to pay for it too.

    August 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Jay T.

    Hey, Rednecks, check out how much we spend on healthcare right now and how much Canada, who has a single-payer system, spends. So, you don't hurt yourself, I'll tell you. We spend much more and our infant mortality rate is much higher and Canadians live, on average, three years longer than us. Stick to Glen Beck if you want someone to support your ignorance. I'm sure you know the website.

    August 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. MatthewDetroit

    DEMOCRATS are now trying to control and kill off their own.
    Too bad someone can not vote honestly on what the people need.
    Not on what the Socialist Obama wants.

    August 11, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. beth

    This just once again goes to show how irrelevant the GOP has become. That audience was one demographic spouting the current GOP fringe talking points. The audience was paid for and arranged by the pharmaceutical industry. It was obvious.

    People with half a brain can see straight through the in san ity and the fringe. Not even a nice try, GOP.

    August 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    It is simply the GOVERMENT both republicans and democrats getting more control over a bigger piece of the GDP.
    WE DO NOT need them making decisions for us.
    WE DO NOT want the goverment managing healthcare and making decisions.
    These people that are your congressmen and senators are NOT the smartest people in the world. They are politicians. They DO NOT know how to run a business and they DO NOT live in the real world.
    I VALUE MY FREEDOM. I VALUE MY LIBERTY. I AM NOT WILLING TO GIVE THAT UP.
    The healthcare plan is a bad plan that makes things WORSE not better.
    CHANGE IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD PEOPLE.

    August 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. James

    Good for Ben Nelson. He ought to do a town meeting but leave the SEIU and other Union thugs at home. This is equivalent to when the Rolling Stones hired Hells Angels as security. Small brains and big muscles usually means unhinged violence. The only violence at these town meetings has been perpetrated by these Union thugs.

    August 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Dan

    Never in human history a change that big in a system run by humans was successful in getting rid of the ills of the old system. It is naivity and youth that believe that a simple one step big change in a system developed over 60 years will produce the claimed good results.

    All social revolutions produced more administration more overhead and less efficiency by claiming to help "all" or helping the "people".

    Grow up people and start being rational about it. Perhaps Obama is influenced by his mother's death and his claims about insurance companies is certainly affected by this. But, is this a reason for introducing a lot of unknown into the system?

    August 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    Correction!!

    You want to chew and shallow .....should be chew and swallow!
    Sorry!

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

    The Republicans aren't worried about the costs of a new health care plan, or what it may cover, or how it will function. The Republicans are worried that a new health care plan will work so well that the Democrats will control the house, senate, and White House for the next decade. So they do what they always do. Make up "facts" that are intended to scare the American people. Use words like "death panel" and "socialism". Only stupid people believe the garbage that they are spewing.

    August 11, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Johnny DC

    Every single one of you that use the term "rethuglican" in the same sentence that you preach freedoms and entitlements for all simply shows what an imbecile you are. Not your party, just you, individually.

    All Republicans do not think alike. Just like all Liberals don't use derrogatory terminology like "Rethuglican".

    It isn't clever, it isn't impressive. It makes you look childish.

    August 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. HELEN ATLANTA GA

    Will you the media ...show us more of the people who are for the health care.
    I'm around hundreds of people every day who are for it ...but you are not saying anything about us.

    August 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Hugo

    Can you think of any, just one, program that the government runs effectively, cost efficiently and productively? The healthcare system is in the condition it is in due to uncontrolled trial lawyers, bureaucrats not doing what they are supposed to do (Henry Waxman, D), Medicaid and Medicare. How could ANY American citizen with any common sense propose that the government have any more of a hand in our healthcare system than they already do, just look at their track record thus far!? Regulate lawyers and the insurance industry, not physicians and the American public!

    August 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Semper Gumby

    The Democrat Party controls the White House. The Democrat Party controls, by a large majority, the House. The Democrat Party controls, by a filibuster proof majority, the Senate. The Republican Party has absolutely no way, in the end , of stopping anything the Democrats want. So what's the problem? Why the delay? Ahhhh..... it wouldn't happen to be the fact that the public is against the plan would it? The bottomline is that a vast majority of citizens don't want this to pass, and a majority does not equal a "kook fringe". If that wasn't the case this would already be law. Period. There is no other way to spin it. I'm not sure as to how or why they did it, but the Democrat leadership has managed to turn this isuue into them against the people.

    August 11, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Predicta

    New poll just out...only 36 percent of the American public supports the current health care reform initiative. That means health care is now dead politically, until such a time that they can come up with another plan where they can get the majority of Americans to support. Chances are this won't happen though, because Republicans will regain control of both the house and senate in 2010. People are growing weary of all this government intervention and runaway spending.

    August 11, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Tarheel

    Why are the Democrats blaming the Republicans for Health Care Reform not passing? They have easily got the votes to pass any national bankrupting bill they choose. Look at the trillion dollar stimulus bill as an example. They rammed that right down the American people's throat with out Republican support. So go ahead Democrats, spend,spend,spend. After all,you did win the election so that gives you the right to ruin the country if you want to.

    August 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Sue

    Just a public option is unsustainable the Congressional Budget Office has announced that......this pass the bill now and we will worry about the money later mentality is not going to work.....LATER COMES...THEN WHAT????????

    August 11, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. POEMAN

    OK folks I will type slowly so that you can follow me...

    A) We are currently paying for illegal aliens and "lazy" peoples health care every day in the form of increased insurance premiums.
    B) Every health care case is sent to a review board before a decision is made. The bill, in it's current form does not mandate this. If there were such requirements I would rather have a government agency that is not as concerned for PROFITS make the decision instead of the insurance companies.
    C) The main point of contention is the public OPTION. It is an OPTION. If you like your current coverage you can keep it.

    Maybe that will clear up a little bit of the disinformation the GOP has been spewing.

    How many times does a group of people (GOP) have to be wrong before people will stop listening to them?

    August 11, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. not enough info

    I don’t think anyone is against reform. I think the problem lies in the lack of facts that are provided. It is funny to see Dems say the Rep's believe the lies; does that mean that you believe your Dem politician. Hmm.

    I would like someone to explain to me how come saving money will cost 100 billion a year. I have read about 100 pages of the bill and it is the same thing on every page so far; something, something, something will be up to the board. The only other info so far is that board members are appointed by the president for 3 years.

    I wish the Dems would ask questions in lieu of just listening to the Politian’s' promises. If this would happen maybe we can get answers to questions in stead of just "this bill will save money and get everyone insurance".

    I think we need reform but I cannot support spending so much with so little information.

    August 11, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Rushcheneycan Whiners Need To Grow A Pair

    Ben "Bought-and-Payed-For" Nelson? The insurance companies' hands in my pockets just feels so good.

    August 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Mike in LR

    This guy sounds like my senator. "I support apple pie and motherhood". How in the heck does that make anyone feel knowledgeable about the current health care poposals..

    August 11, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. susie

    Will Members of Congress and Senators be willing to opt into this Health Bill too?

    August 11, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. anti liberal

    is there any more clueless senator than Spector? He never answered any question, just replied that he was for whatever the person asking the question was for and really was kind of useless.

    Why aren't there term limits? Oh and he said that there are, voters can vote him out anytime.

    Pennsylvania, do your job and put this guy out to pasture.

    August 11, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. Sam Sixpack

    Obama's “Independent Medicare Advisory Council” will solve everything.

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

    Check out "Independent Medicare Advisory Council” for yourself!

    You can even start at the Whitehouse's own website!

    August 11, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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