Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Senators Nelson and Lieberman Voice Opposition to Current Version of Health Care Bill
NY Times: Centrist Senators Say They Oppose Health Care Bill, by Joseph Berger:
The morning after voting to commence debate on ground-breaking health care legislation, two centrist senators, Ben Nelson and Joseph I. Lieberman, said on Sunday that they were opposed to the bill as it is currently written, particularly its inclusion of a new government-run insurance program.
Mr. Nelson, the Nebraska senator who voted with his fellow Democrats to start debate sometime after Thanksgiving, said that he was opposed to the bill’s insistence on a so-called public option — a government insurance plan that would compete with private firms to offer coverage for uninsured Americans. While the bill gives states the right to opt out of a public option, Senator Nelson said he would only support a bill that required states to opt in, a step that would stretch out the time that such a program could be broadly enacted. Such a provision would allow for more “state-based solutions” to issues of health care coverage . . . .
He added that if the public option remained in the bill in its present form, he would refuse to stop an expected Republican filibuster. Because he is one of the 60 votes the Democrats had counted on to prevent a filibuster, his statement could dampen the enthusiasm for Democrats still exulting over their ability Saturday evening to come together to a crucial procedural vote and launch debate. . . .