December 17th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
10 months ago

Nelson: Health care bill 'isn't sufficient'

Sen. Nelson said he will not vote for the health care bill in its current form.
Sen. Nelson said he will not vote for the health care bill in its current form.

Washington (CNN) – Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson told a Nebraska radio station Thursday that he will not vote for the Senate health care bill as it stands because of concerns over insurance coverage for abortions and other unresolved issues.

Nelson, who could be the crucial 60th vote the Democrats need to overcome a Republican filibuster, said the bill "as it is now, without further modifications, it isn't sufficient" and that he will not vote for it.

"If it is not at the point that I think it needs to be with the improvements that I'm pushing, and they've made a lot of them, then I will not vote on cloture on the motion to end debate," Nelson told KLIN on Thursday.

Nelson received a compromise proposal on abortion language Wednesday from another anti-abortion Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey. The Nebraska senator said there the proposal represented "lot of improvement on the legislation, (but) the basic question on the funding of abortion has not been fully answered yet."

When asked if the bill would get through the Senate by Christmas, the senator - who also said he had continuing tax and cost questions about the bill - asked if the radio host was "talking about this Christmas or next" and said he was "more concerned about getting it right."


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Lee, California

    I only have one word for these moderates: "RECONCILIATION!"

    December 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Ben Nelson was the 50th vote for Bush's three cuts, giving Darth the opportunity to break the tie to pass them. There was no language to curb abortions in the tax cuts, but Ben supported them. Now for health reform, he has to have the law of the land changed. What an effin' hypocrite.

    December 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sen. Nelson is getting on my last nerve. I'm concerned on getting right as well, but you are holding up this process Sen. Nelson. You can't have everything your way. Same goes for Joe"Judas" Lieberman.

    December 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Fair_is_Fair

    Get rid of him Too. Why is he even caucusing with the democrats? Just plain disgusting!!

    December 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    We all know that Sen. Nelson is laughingly referred to as Ben Dover by the health insurance industry.

    December 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The great American roller coaster what would you think other country's think about American resolve.

    December 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. George

    Right to life goes way past the womb. In a country as great as America, every American should have a right to live. Nelson you are a hypocrite. You and Lieberman are both death Panels. And so is every Republican in Washington.

    December 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Ben is fortunate that no one is uninsured in Nebraska.

    December 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. dude palin

    What a rich loser !!

    December 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. katiec

    Nelson has done everything he can to destroy Health Care Reform since day one, regardless of what it included.
    He is pathetic.

    December 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    If Ben is trying to become the most hated senator, taking over for Lieberman, he just might succeed.

    December 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    This “liberal socialist always waiting for a welfare hand out” is blessed with a job and it pays enough to more than meet my basic needs for food and shelter. This “heathen” was indeed taught that yes, I am my brother’s keeper, which means once my basic needs are met, I am to help others less fortunate and help to clothe, shelter and feed them. I am not only glad, but in my belief, I am obligated to pay taxes, and since I cannot possibly help all those in need in this country, the government will use those taxes to assist those in poverty to achieve their basic needs. It may not be a perfect system but instead of ending it, I want the corruption rooted out, not to “starve” the system into non-existence.

    It is not my place to judge, why the folks are in a different place in life than I. I do not recall any teachings that said help those less fortunate, but only if I deem they are worthy of my help.

    So, this “heathen” will continue to try and follow the lead of the original “liberal” while you “christian” cons are merely the 21st century version of the money changers He chased from the temple.

    One day we will be divided into two groups, one that tried to promote the “liberal agenda” in our short time here, and one that elevated pride and personal greed to an art form and fought to actively limit the help to the poverty stricken by not only ignoring the poor’s basic needs for food and shelter, but sanctioned the deaths of 45,000 less fortunate Americans every year, all so you could keep more of your “gold coins“ in your own pocket.

    The Shepherd will decide which group contained the sheep and which group contained the goats.

    December 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Laverne

    The dems should forget about Nelson, Lieberman and others, put the stuff back in that really matter to the American people and and go for the reconcilation process. I know they would like things to turn out different, but these senators are full of themselves and are not interested in what is best for the American people. President and Congress should get it done by any means necessary!

    December 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Marie

    Nelson will not get my vote ever again here in Omaha, Ne.

    December 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Blue

    I am so tired of men like Ben Nelson telling women what they can do with their bodies. Do we tell the boys, sorry no sex? We do not need the Ben Nelsons in the Senate because they are so narrow minded.
    We need freedom as well as they do.

    December 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Ben is like the North Platte River, a mile wide and a quarter inch deep.

    December 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Ed Tallahassee

    Forget Nelson and Lieberman and push through a Liberal Version through Reconciliation. Don’t worry about the Republicans claiming it would be an act of War, they don’t want to work with Democrats, heck they are purging their party of all moderates as we speak. They are already at war, the have been since Obama was President Elect.

    December 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Tim E

    Do Nebraska Democrats use the English language? What part of NO do they not understand? Or have we underestimated the power of the Obstructionist Party to proselytize?

    December 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    It would be a mistake to blame any one Democratic Senator for not voting for this bill. If the Democrats were serious about health care reform they would propose a bill that would get bipartisan support. They know how to do that. The Republicans have made clear what they see as useful health care reform and it starts with cost reduction.
    The bill presented in the Senate would be more of a financial disaster for America than Medicare is. We are supposed to be smarter than that by now, but the Democrats see this as a political issue rather than an issue of responsible governance.

    December 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. ivan

    I don't care if you vote against the bill but if you support a filibuster then, since I do not reside in your state, I will financially support your primary opponent. Even if need be your general election opponent.

    December 17, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Johnny DC

    More concerned about getting it right? I give Senator Nelson another day or two before Liberals start grouping him with Lieberman and their "get rid of this guy" comments.

    Sounds to me like an upstanding guy who isn't afraid to voice his true concerns against the will of his leadership. Just the kind of guy the Democrats hate.

    December 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Stortz

    The bill as it is, is not “sufficient”? You’re right; it has totally lost all substance! The only thing that could make this stuff drinkable is if the Anti-Trust Exemptions get scratched in the process.

    Nelson won’t vote for it, but he isn’t going to vote for it anyway unless he can fully restrict a women’s legal right to abortions.

    December 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. walleye

    It turns out that in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.
    Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you're more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure.
    In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence.
    In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice. An amendment introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), now a member of leadership, split the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee 10-10. The tie meant that the measure failed.
    All ten no votes were Republicans, including Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), a member of the "Gang of Six" on the Finance Committee who are hashing out a bipartisan bill.

    December 17, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Freddie

    I am from Nebraska and I will contine to vote for a Senator who votes the way the people want him to vote. The majority here in Nebraska DO NO WANT THIS HEALTH BILL!!!!!!!

    December 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Cindy Merrill

    Since diabetics won't get the increased SNAP credit required for prevention of High Glycemic episodes, I have to agree with Ben Nelson.

    December 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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