Nelson 60th vote for US Health Care bill

This is quite the reversal from just a couple of days ago, when Nelson said that even if he gets all the anti-abortion language he wants in the bill, he still wouldn’t vote for the bill because of cost concerns (which could have been alleviated by the public option he voted against, but never mind that).   You have to wonder what kind of payola changed his mind on this:

Senator Ben Nelson’s announcement moments ago that he will vote to end debate on the Senate health care bill puts Dems within striking distance of the first major progressive legislative achievement of the 21st Century, even if the legislation is deeply flawed.

But Nelson also issued a stern threat, designed to put House liberals on notice: If you change the bill in conference, I reserve the right to sink it later. Translation: Don’t even think about trying to add a public option or Medicare buy-in, and don’t even think about putting your grubby hands on my abortion compromise.  [..]

Nelson just now announced that he would support the bill, after having reached a deal on abortion with the following details:

(1) ensure that no public funds will be used for abortion;

(2) mandate that every state provide an insurance plan option that does not cover abortion; and

(3) gives each state the right to pass a law barring insurance coverage for abortion within state borders.

In short, the Senate bill would give individual states the right to ban abortion coverage within their own insurance exchanges (why do fetus fetishists hate the free market?).  Compared to the draconian Stupak Amendment which seeks to mandate the same thing nationally, this is an improvement.

And how do I know it’s an improvement?  Because the fetus fetishists are furiously foaming at the mouth and calling Nelson a “sellout” who is throwing feti under the bus.  It would appear that their evil plot against womens’ reproductive freedom has been *somewhat* thwarted.  (This is still bad, but it’s less bad.)

UPDATE: SHRIEEEK!   NO!!  All ur uterus are belong to Stupak!

9 Responses to “Nelson 60th vote for US Health Care bill”


  1. 1 deBeauxOs Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    eh. I just blogged about this. It appears that Nelson’s vote was obtained by offering his state considerable advantages.

  2. 2 JJ Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    deBeauxOs – Of course, that’s how they’re turning all these recalcitrant blue dogs, and that’s exactly why the blue dogs are doing what they’re doing. When push comes to shove, they have to think about what’s good for their constituents because that’s who votes for them.

    If Tony Soprano was doing it, it would be called “extortion”.

  3. 3 f Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I just commented on your post, dBO.

    I’m not thinking very well (rotten cold), but I’m really not sure what’s happening. Both sides — pro- and anti-choice — are SHRIEEKING about it. I don’t give a fuck what the fetus fetishists ‘think’, but if NARAL and NOW are pissed, it’s probably not good for women.

  4. 4 fern hill Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    See? Stoopid-making cold. . .

    That was me.

  5. 5 Bleatmop Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I may be wrong, but once nelson gives that 60th vote to end debate, then they don’t need him anymore. They only have to go to reconciliation if they move the bill now, before debate has “officially” ended. Once he votes to end it, they will only need 50+1 votes to pass the bill without reconciliation. I could be wrong as, even though I’ve been watching tons of maddow and olberman, I still find this whole thing somewhat confusing.

    F – From what I understand, NOW started opposing health reform when the BoTax came into play. Although this compromise is horribly regressive and give them good reason to be opposed to the health reform bill.

  6. 6 JJ Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    fern hill – I’m still finding it hard to believe that a private issue like abortion would be something that could scuttle an entire health care bill. Times like this, the difference between the US and Canada is really stark.

    Nelson’s language in the bill is somewhat softer than the Stupak amendmendment in that it doesn’t make a national mandate of not covering abortion… it’s up to the states to decide if they want to ban abortion coverage. But after non-stop lobbying from fetus fetishists and the realization of how onerous it would be to administrate the funding and keep it separate, insurance companies would likely opt out of abortion coverage on their own.

    It’s like a freaking planet from the Dark Ages down there! :shock:

  7. 7 JJ Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Bleatmop – It’s very confusing, also amazing to think that abortion, which isn’t even on most peoples’ radar in Canada, would be such a major deal that it could blow the entire bill out of the water. Unbelievble! I can only comment: “WTF?”

  8. 8 deBeauxOs Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    One can only speculate that it’s become all about the demographics – shrieeekkk! more brown babies born than white babies in the US.

    The racists – overt or unaware – are threatened by the fecundity of them brown-skinned folks and they want their own women to breed. Over their dead bodies if necessary.

  9. 9 JJ Monday, December 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    deBeauxOs – I don’t know — if they were so worried about being overrun by dusky-skinned peeps, wouldn’t they be in favour of abortion for them? From what I’ve read, that’s the general consensus among genuine white supremacists — no abortion for white people, buy yay abortion for anyone who’s any colour other than white.


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