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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Listen up you centrists/moderates. Either start your own party or get the hell out of ours. The next two elections, we are going to clean house and put the most progressive candidates in office.

    December 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Clutch

    Gee another back pocket insurance shill want to strip this now crappy bill even further. what a surpprise.

    December 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. STAND AS ONE

    Oh my goodness. here we go again.. You know what.. enough is enough already!!!!! so I guess now its Traitor Joe now..its Traitor Nelson..

    December 17, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Howie

    It is really refreshing to see a senator voting his beliefs and not surrendering to the bribes of the democrats who are trying to buy his vote. Keep your head up Ben, most americans are behind you.

    December 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom

    Amazing how the far-right so called Christians continue to obstruct, lie and fight against Healthcare for all Americans!

    Oh its A-okay to spend TRILLIONS invading a sovereign nation, for their oil like we did in Iraq! Its okay to nearly bankrupt our nation as long as you are a Republican president...... George W. Bush!

    However, the so-called-pro-life conservatives continue to deny Healthcare to their fellow Citizens! Because, God help us, Big Pharma and Big Insurance must not be challenged!

    Some people need to read up on CAPITALISM, which is basically COMPETITION. FREE MARKET Capitalism which the far-right shouts about IS COMPETITION! That's why SO many of us are fighting for the ........ Public Option!

    Meanwhile, 45,000 Americans have DIE THIS YEAR, because in the wealthiest most powerful nation on Earth, they do not have healthcare!

    December 17, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Rick CT

    I'm happy for Ivan because in the thick of this recession, he seems to have lots of money to toss around on politicians.

    Like most other boards, this just further demonstrates the libs complete intolerance of views other than their own. Why read the actual bill...we'll tell you what it says. How dare you stand in the way of what we want. Why should anyone have an independent thought to "the way" and "the truth". Sounds a lot like libs = 1984

    December 17, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. margie w.

    I have thought this over a lot for the past few months and I have come to terms w/the following conclusions and FACTS:
    Joe Lieberman is eating sour grapes and needs to be voted out. He is wishy washy and will do anything it takes to get re-elected. He is tied to the hips of the Insurance companies as most repub's and blue dogs are.
    The Republicans will never agree to anything no matter what as they are the party of "THEMSELVES AND THEIR RICH FRIENDS and they know how to prey upon their ignorant uneducated followers.
    SINGLE PAYER PLAN IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO and next year the Blue dogs that will be running again need to be voted out. I don't want to hear one more redneck remark about the excuse and myth that "illegals" would be added to a public option plan as since when did my 27 year old son become an illegal alien. I do believe he ws born in Missouri or as I call it "Misery !!"

    December 17, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Obama Victim

    is there any better sound than the liberals crying and whining??

    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttt

    December 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Will in Carson City

    Good for Sen. Nelson. He's one of only a handful of people that are actually taking the time to look at this thing.

    Now, he just needs to call the White House's bluff and see if they really will put that military base on the BRAC list.

    December 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Howie

    Many of those who comment here do not understand you can not use rconciliation on this type of bill. Reconciliation is for budget bills.

    December 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Enough! Reconcilliation NOW.

    I've had it with these people already! I wish I had the money to move to Nebraska just so I could establish residency long enough to vote against this jerk! REALLY . . . RECONCILLIATION NOW!!!

    December 17, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Dennis in AZ

    I believe pregnancy and being an illegal alien are both "pre-existing conditions." If we let the Healthcare Bill go through, we open ourselves to the judgement of the courts as to what can be treated and what should not be treated. That sort of Law is unretrievable. The judges in this country have already twisted, mamed, and shredded the meaning of the Bill of Rights. Why would we ever give them a chance to practice medicine? Sen. Nelson's concerns are valid–the "smarter than though" Progressives can get mileage out of every nuance of this Bill via litigation. Both Republicans and Democrats inside the beltway are voting to get "something" done–we should never go down this road!

    December 17, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Concerned Democrat

    This Democrat says THANK YOU Mr. Nelson for putting the political games aside and voting in the best interests of the American people.

    We DO NOT want or support this health care bill.

    December 17, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. demmieKraut

    mmmm...Liberal e-tears taste like yummi-ness...

    December 17, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    The Democrat Senators like Nelson and independent Liberman should all be given medals for having the courage to stand their ground against a bad bill and for having the sense of what it best for the America.

    December 17, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Feltre

    Being from Nebraska myself, I can tell you that Ben Nelson is just reflecting the opinions of a majority of Nebraskans. If he votes for this bill, his is toast in 2012 and he knows it.

    December 17, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Nebraska Boy

    Ben Nelson has turned out to be the insurance industry's biggest lackey. He has been involved in this incestuous relationship for some time. He came from their ranks and they have generously rewarded him with campaign donations. I can cut him some slack over the abortion issue put to a point, even though I think he has greatly overplayed his position just to prostitute himself even more to that ilk for his next re-election campaign. But his refusal to support the ending of antitrust provisions the insurance industry has is the last straw. What makes this industry so special that they deserve this exemption? Is it his friends in the industry still want their $124 million dollar bonuses? (see Forbes article Re: United Health Care CEO).

    December 17, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Florida Joe

    what we have here is a Senator hiding behind the abortion issue to mask the fact that he is in the pocket of the insurance companies. We need to go to reconciliation just like the Repubs did for Bush's tax cuts.........DO IT NOW HARRY

    December 17, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Doc

    Forget appeasing Lieberman and Nelson, and compromising to the point that the bill is meaningless. Use reconciliation and put the MONEY-SAVING public option back in! What is the point of avoiding reconciliation if NOT ONE Republican is voting for it anyway? At this point reconciliation would be used only to free the Democrats from being held hostage by Nelson and Lieberman. The current bill is a disaster for the Democrats because it drives a wedge between the progressives and the centrists, will fail to cover everyone, and will allow costs to continue to soar.

    December 17, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Well said Party Purity.

    December 17, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Tina

    Supporting the abortion bill - is an implicit act of supporting killing babies - thus killing people - where is justice America? Is is fine to kill helpless innocent baby and to kill anyone alive on this earth? Equality is word KILL. I will not allow nor contribute my hard earned money to the killings of innocent lives - I cannot sleep and know that I kill somebody indirectly by condoning this act.

    December 17, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Supporting the abortion bill – is an implicit act of supporting killing babies – thus killing people – where is justice America? "

    It's in the Constitution, that's where American justice is...and it says that women have the right to choose to have an abortion under certain circumstances and that to narrow that choice is to invade her inalienable right to privacy. Sooooo, I suppose living in America and believing in America's founding documents and societal principles is "an implicit act of supporting killing babies." Don't like it? Get out.

    December 17, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Marshall

    Thank you Ben. Maybe I can vote for you again.

    December 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. revolution

    I have rented a U-Haul in Ben's name. If he votes for this Healthtax bill which has NOTHING to do with health, he is history in NE. It is suggested he not even return to the state. We'll forward your mail Ben, I-80 is closed to you. I'm not going to pay for some couple to get an abortion, just keep it in your pants and your legs closed, it that simple, and I'm not paying for it.

    December 17, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Don't you get it? Most of the people receiving federal subsidies to purchase insurance will be....drum roll please...poor inner city minorities! They don't want these people having abortions for two reasons:

    1. If they have to have unwanted uneconomical children, it further decreases the community's economic viability. It increases the pverty level for them and eacerbates the problem of already waaaaay overburdened inner city school systems. Screw browny, right?

    2. Their answer to any criticism of this functional result will be "so stop reproducing."

    December 17, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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