WASHINGTON — Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has followed the fastidious Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in withdrawing his support from the Senate health care compromise, which jettisoned the public insurance option in favor of a Medicare buy-in program for people 55 years and up.
“I am concerned that it’s the forerunner of single payer, the ultimate single-payer plan, maybe even more directly than the public option,” Nelson said on Sunday in an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
The Nebraskan also declared he’s concerned about the potential costs of the provision.
Nelson and Lieberman both appeared on the program, and said that the Medicare expansion provision doesn’t have 60 votes in the Senate.
It bears pointing out that they are the only two non-Republican members of the upper chamber that have thus far opposed it — with their support, there would be 60.
Nelson had no problems with the bill as it stood last Wednesday. “I’m not aware of anything that was raising serious objections about it,” he said. “I think it was about, ‘Well, that sounds okay, let’s see how it scores.'” But he started singing a different tune after the Senator from Connecticut pulled back abruptly.
A November poll carried out by Research 2000 found that Nebraskan voters favored the public option — which Nelson’s defiance compelled the Democratic leadership to remove — by 46 to 44 percent. In Connecticut, the provision was even more popular, with 56 percent supporting it and 37 opposing, according to Quinnipiac.
While Lieberman’s opposition to the new compromise is resolute and unequivocal, Nelson’s is less staunch, signaling that he might still be won with tweaks.
Nelson’s demands are unclear, and with the nature of the bill constantly changing, it’s remains to be seen whether the bill will achieve the goals of extending coverage and bending the cost curve if his concerns, along with Lieberman’s, are placated.
Nelson suffered a setback last week when an amendment he co-sponsored that would more strongly restrict abortion rights was struck down.
The absence of even one of their votes creates serious problems for the Democratic leadership, as none of the 40 Republican Senators are at all likely to back it. Their options are to either water down the reforms further or use the parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation, which might change the shape of the legislation but would allow it to pass with 51 votes.
This video is from CBS’ Face the Nation, broadcast Dec. 13, 2009.
Former White House lawyer explains why Roger Stone shouldn’t put away his orange jumpsuit just yet
Former solicitor general Neal Katyal and Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection chief Joshua Geltzer penned a column for The Atlantic explaining why Roger Stone shouldn't assume that he's free and clear after having his sentence commuted.
Stone, who was found guilty on seven felony counts by a jury last year, was supposed to report to prison on Tuesday, but his longtime friend, President Donald Trump, saved him.
The legal experts explained that Stone's commutation isn't indelible. Stone could be indicted by a future Justice Department.
Louisiana’s COVID-19-enabling attorney general gets tested for coronavirus before meeting Pence, tests positive
Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Louisiana Tuesday to meet with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and the state’s two Republican Senators to share his message about the importance of opening all schools in the fall. Not on the tarmac in Baton Rouge when Air Force Two landed at 11:13 AM was the Bayou State’s Tea Party Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who tested positive for coronavirus before he was slated to greet the vice president.
“Out of an overabundance of caution with the Vice President coming to our state, I was tested for Cornavirus,” Landry told the state’s Dept. of Justice employees via email, Louisiana’s The Advocate reports. “Though experiencing no symptoms, I tested positive for COVID-19.”
Man caught on video vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower
NEW YORK — Surveillance video released Tuesday of the vandal who defaced the massive Black Lives Matter mural in front of Manhattan’s Trump Tower shows he dumped an entire can of red paint before fleeing.Police are asking the public’s help identifying the culprit and tracking him down.The man, wearing a black baseball hat with white lettering, sunglasses and a surgical mask, approached the mural on Fifth Avenue near West 57th Street in Midtown about 12:15 p.m. Monday, pulled an open can of red paint from a paper bag and emptied the can onto the “V” in LIVES, the video shows.He emptied the can’... (more…)