November 20th, 2009
12:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Nelson to support motion to proceed

Washington (CNN ) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson announced Friday that he would be supporting the motion to proceed that would allow the Senate to begin debate on the Democrats' health care reform legislation.

"Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct," he said in a statement. "That's what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about. It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday. It is only to begin debate and an opportunity to make improvements. If you don't like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?"

The Nebraska Democrat sounded a positive note Thursday after emerging from a meeting with Reid and other moderate Democratic holdouts in the Senate Majority Leader's office, although he told CNN then he was withholding his final decision on the motion to proceed until he had a chance to "study (the bill) or at least review it to begin with."

He said there had been concerns about the length of time the bill would be made public before the final vote, and whether it would be read on the floor - but that it appeared Reid had largely satisfied his concerns on those issues.

Nelson also said the meeting did not include discussion of any of the specifics regarding abortion language, the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry, and other issues of concern to him.

–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report

Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. L for Legend

    When health care IS reformed, those sorry repugs who voted against reform will one day try to take credit for the reform, ala Ginnie Fox.

    November 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. L for Legend

    Two words for all the cowards in DC, TERM LIMITS!!

    November 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Chuck

    Oh my least Nicole gets it. People screaming socialism are just stupid. All insurance is socialism. Socializing losses is the basic function. The larger the pool of insured people, the less each one pays. The public option's purpose is to provide a relatively cheap option for all the new people who are going to be required to have it (bigger pool of people), but can't afford the ridiculous prices. We pay for the treatment of the uninsured anyway. What, you think businesses just eat that loss now? If there is no public option, all these people will need to buy more expensive plans and require MORE subsidizing from the government (you and me). Without the public option, this is nothing more than a handuot to health insurance companies and health/drug providers. But, I guess that's where all the opposition is coming from, huh. Oh, and idiots.

    November 20, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. ugogrl

    Way to go Senator Nelson. Let's pass healthcare reform this year! I guarantee the President approval ratings will skyrocket to the highest peek. All the democrats than can get to working on the economy and creating jobs so that the rethugs can not be elected back into office.

    November 20, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    You know what to do him out!

    November 20, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Richard

    If you oppose someone being in office for 'too many' terms you should simply stop electing them.

    November 20, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. mjm

    Got news for you. This bill only covers 94-96% of the people.

    45000 still die.....If you believe Grayson….and you shouldn’t…Even if you did, Obama isn’t going to stop people from dying any time soon….He’s not really god, ya know?

    I was completely wrong yesterday when I thought $800 billion and some change (over 10 years) was going to insure 300 million.

    It's not.

    They are expanding Medicaid to cove 10-11 million more, but that's not covered in the $800 billion and some change. The cost of the health care bill is for the bbureaucracy created from the bill. Everything from research panels for STD's and obesity to new packages on food. (

    They are hopping a few taxes on the rich, taxes on private insurance and a 2.5 tax on medical devices (?) will cover the actual cost of health won't.

    The number of people in the upper tax bracket is decreasing while the lower tax bracket continues to climb. That’s what happens when you hate the rich but depend on them to pay for your socialism.

    November 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Josh NYC

    "45, 000 Americans die every year because they lack healthcare."

    People do not die because they lack healthcare. They die because they have heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, pig flu, etc. Treatment for any of these ailments does not guarantee survival.

    November 20, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Mark

    Do you want a free country where the individual make their own choices, and takes the responsibility for their actions or do you want the government to provide and make decisions for you because you are inadequate to make your own choices?

    A democratic republic or a form of communism/socialism? We can not have it both ways.

    Name one successful communist/socialist country that has contributed as much to the human cause?

    November 20, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Enough

    The ignorance is bliss attitude on this topic is incredible. How foolish are you? You really think this bill is going to reform health care or provide quality health care for everyone? NOTHING in this bill is going to control costs. Wake up and quit dreaming, you obviously have no idea what you are really wishing for.

    November 20, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Tayo, NY


    I will remember this statement in the nearest future!!

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. jim

    You people do not get it The healthcare debate is focused on fixing healthcare which we all realize is flawed. But the congress and the president are ready are not looking at the true cost. They are overlooking the bigger picture the medical cost itself which ultimately drives the cost of any insurance premium public or private We need a uniform cost for procedures, prescriptions, doctors, or hospitals. No healthcare program can work unless mandated pricing and tort reform is in place first why because of GREED, if healthcare is passed FIRST everyone including the government, the insurance companies, the doctors, the hospitals, the drug companies and malpractice lawyers will take all the extra money and never look to lower the medical prices. This is factual think about it we never purchase anything unless we known the cost. The Government wants to buy then ask the price.....

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. gt

    blue dog ,,, lap dog...this stinks to high heaven,,, its all about bribes and money,,, sad day ssen nelson .. i thought you were more about the people.... than you left wing nut job party..sad very sad...

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Bob in Pa

    Have any of you liberals taken a good close look at government housing ? Your healthcare system being in the same shape is just several years away.

    Katrina victims should all remember how well the basic necessities of life, Food, Water and Shelter were delivered. Stop in your tracks, don't even think it – it wasn't Bush's fault. FEMA is a government bureaucracy. It operates the same regardless of who the President is. Your health care will be in the hands of just that another government bureaucracy.

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. John D.

    Here we go again with you whining libbys. KILL THE BILL AND START OVER. I'm sick and tired of supporting you left wing couch potatoes. Get a job and quite going to see Doctor Winter Off or Doctor Summer Off abusing the system. You are the ones to blame for this mess.

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Christian Values

    If your rep does not vote in favor of your views, elect someone that will.

    Personally, the ONLY must for me, is a YES vote to a public option health care reform. NO OTHER ISSUE matters. Vote out any republican or democrat that will not vote for public option and vote in ONLY a rep that WILL vote yes for a public option.

    We are paying attention. We will help Obama pass this health care. Republicans have proven they desire to continue the slaughter of 45000 americans per year. NO MORE REPUBLICANS, NO MORE MURDERERS!

    November 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Holdouts who cave in at the last moment are just milking the system for pork to bring home. They ought to be brought up on ethics violations. Their only intent is to twist the knife in the taxpayer's back.

    November 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Kirkland WA

    LacrosseMom! You rock. Thank you for putting it in perspective.

    November 20, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. voter

    was that so hard to do? I can care less whether he votes yes for the final bill, because we only need 50 or 51 votes for final passage. The senate has this with the progressives alone. At least allow the bill to be open for debate on the senate floor and allow an up or down vote.

    November 20, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Sara

    If Sen. Mary Landreau doesn't vote for this public option, she may as well run for re-election as a republican!

    November 20, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Ted from Calif.

    This turkey now needs to put language back in the bill to strip insurance companies of their anti-trust exemption. Nelson had this language removed before he would even consider allowing the bill to come to the floor.

    In my opinion, Nelson should be investigated for taking bribes from the insurance companies. If any evidence is found then he should be indicted and tried. It is time to remove the crooks from office be they Democratic or Republican.

    We need to return to Lincoln's premise that government is " of the people, by the people, and for the people".

    November 20, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Susan

    I don't believe 45,000 people die each year because they lack health care, and how do you prove that is why they died. More propaganda.

    We need healthcare reform, but we don't need this government takeover that we can't afford.

    November 20, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. andrewstl

    i supports the dems but this guy is a disgrace and will now get a full pension. he may be a bigger joke than rod

    November 20, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Wil

    I like how some on this site, I like to call them blogger gypsies they go from site to site with thier mindless talking points that everyone has heard before, but offer no solutions. For those folks your tax cuts got us in the mess we are in your two wars on terror with NO funding got us here your medicare advandtage with no funding NO child left behide only you left the funding behide notice a pattern here. Your way didn't work out give what the current adminastation is trying to do a chance at lease. Hell if after 4years things are not improving you got my vote for change until then try thinking for your self for a change.

    November 20, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. barbara

    i wouldnt vote for ANY bill that wasnt read completely and interpreted using common sense. thats probably why i am not a politician.

    November 20, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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