December 30th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
6 months ago

Nelson launches TV ad defending vote

Sen. Ben Nelson released an ad Wednesday defending his vote to block a Republican filibuster of the health care bill.
Sen. Ben Nelson released an ad Wednesday defending his vote to block a Republican filibuster of the health care bill.

(CNN) – Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, the conservative Senate Democrat who provided the party with the 60th vote needed to prevent a Republican filibuster of the health care bill, is defending his move in an a television ad set to air Wednesday.

The ad, to run during the sure-to-be highly rated University of Nebraska's Holiday Bowl game Wednesday night, features Nelson himself directly explaining to constituents why he voted for the measure the recent polls of have suggested is unpopular with most Nebraskans.

According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Nelson will tell constituents he worked hard to improve the controversial bill before committing to be the Democrats' crucial 60th vote.

"Now it lowers costs for families and small business, protects Medicare, finally guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions and reduces the deficit," Nelson says in the ad, according to the paper. "And it's not run by the government. I'm convinced this is right for Nebraska."

As part of his agreement to vote with the Democrats, Nelson successfully negotiated the federal government to pay in perpetuity for Medicaid's expansion in his state, an agreement that has riled other senators whose states have to foot the bill.

Nelson told CNN shortly after the vote he did not seek any special favors.

"I didn't ask for a carve-out," Nelson told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "What I said is the governor of Nebraska has contacted me, he said publicly he's having trouble with the budget. This will add to his budget woes. And I said, look, we have to have that fixed."

Nelson won't face reelection until 2012.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Marc

    This is evidence that the Democrat's don't believe enough in their own health reform bill that they must negotiate such ridiculous consents in order to secure the votes. Apparently as long as Nebraska is taken care of, Senator Nelson isn't concerned of the consequences this bill will have on the rest of the country. If only we could take the time to develope a bill we actually believe in.....

    December 30, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Sea.gem

    it's okay to lie and steal if it helps you...

    December 30, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    What about the average Americans budget Ben ? The correct answer should have been No !

    December 30, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. George

    Nelson and Lieberman are traitors to America

    December 30, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Gary

    How can he defend a bribe. If Nebraska gets special treatment under medicare or medicaid then we need to sue the government and vote Nelson out of office. This is just more of the Reid/Pelosi and Democrat culture of corruption. I think that both parties have demonstrated that they have no morals. I will vote against all incumbents.

    December 30, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Justen

    pretty easy vote to defend when you consider all the bribes he was given for it.

    December 30, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Liberals are worthless

    Nothing is going to save you Ben.

    You're finished.

    December 30, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    It must suck being Senator Ben Nelson right now. It sure sucks what he did to the other 300 million of us Americans. I can't believe that blatanty selling your vote doesn't bring out the ethics committee. At least he knows the shame of his actions.

    December 30, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. J. Rochester, NY

    If he was being truthful at all he would have just said "I had a chance to abuse the system and make a grab for everything I possibly could so I did."

    SCUMBAG

    December 30, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Duck Fallas

    Keep your government hands off my Medicare!!

    December 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. cat

    Where is a public option? if you want your base to come out for you then you need to give them something to come out for.
    Where is the NO on manadatory health insurance?
    These sorry senators and their unjust laws they impose on the American People.

    December 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Bob in Pa

    Thanks for your vote Ben.

    I Spoke with My Doctor the other day about this bill. He says from what he can understand in this bill basically will cost him too much to stay in practice. Having to add more administrative staff, pay a huge new fee to practice medicine. Instead, he will retire 7 years early and sell his practice. His other interesting comment was that this new fee will discourage more young people from entering the field. Who wants to add another 10,000 dollars to their debt when they are already 40 to 80,000 in the hole. I myself haven't heard about this practice fee anywhere else yet, but I am inclined to believe and trust my Doctor.

    I guess thats the type of Health Care Change we can Hope for.

    Again, Thanks from the bottom of my heart Mr. Nelson.

    December 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Caesar the Great

    Nelson did what was right for the state of Nebraska. The problem is that he did what was wrong for those of us in the other 49 states.

    December 30, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. RichP the Pocono's

    Ben, you made your bed, sold your soul and now have to reap the rewards, or pay the piper, whichever.

    December 30, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    I don't expect it's going to take a lot of explanation: Nelson, like Mary Landrieu, took a bribe, albeit on behalf of his state, to betray the interests of the US and its citizens.

    December 30, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I can respect Nelson's personal beliefs but that is exactly what they are – PERSONAL. He has no right to impose those beliefs on thousands of others. If he doesn't approve of abortion, then DON'T have one.

    December 30, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. aware

    Give it up Ben! You are just another prevaricating democrat! :(

    December 30, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Tami

    If he's having to defend it with his constituents, I'd say he must not have voted according to their wishes. As a citizen from a neighboring state, I find his deal making pretty questionable.

    December 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. John

    sell out......

    December 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Sooooo-what's NEW

    Nelson is just another typical American patriot and "career Politition".
    who SOLD out the entire country for his "own personal and selfish" gain....Good for Nebraska and the entire country? SHAME ON YOU !!!
    America, Please demand term limits NOW before it's too late.

    December 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. JJC

    It sure looks to me like he demanded that sweetheart deal! if not and it was just forced on him, he should do the right thing and rescind it!

    December 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom

    Ben Nelson and ALL the other Blue-Dogs are simply pandering to the far-right! After all they are politicians! They 'think' the Democrats will be ousted in 2010........ but....... no.......... only the Blue-Dogs & Obstructionists!

    As usual there are those who vote against social programs, like the Republicans always have and they are ALWAYS on the wrong side of history!

    December 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. John Jennings

    Bill oughta be more concerned about explaining his sell-out to the Democratic base that is poised to send him and his party back into the minority in 2010. What is the point of voting for Democrats if they're going to vote like Republicans? When the Dems lose the Senate next November, Bill Nelson and his fellow turn-coats will bear the brunt of the responsibility.

    December 30, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Carl

    Oh puh-lease! We all know politicians are all for sale...it's simply a matter of price. All the ads in the world won't change our opinion of this or the rest of the corrupt boobs currently occupying our nation's capitol. 2010 won't come soon enough.

    December 30, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    Good thing he is from Nebraska because if he was from any other state the would be gone so quick they would forget his name. He deserves to be kicked out of congress for all his comtempt for the American people and kiss butt of the corporations. Shame Nelson ..shame shame shame to even call yourself an American.

    December 30, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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