August 29, 2009

DISSENT OF THE GOVERNED:

Reactions to Health Bill Make Some Democrats Wary: In Nebraska, Sen. Nelson Hears Steady Chorus of Opposition to Overhaul; 'My Vote Is Not on Autopilot,' He Says (Janet Adamy, 8/29/09, WSJ)

He and some other Democrats say it now seems more likely Congress will opt for scaled-down health legislation, instead of the broad expansion of insurance coverage President Barack Obama is pushing. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.) said he hopes Congress will "punch the reset button," and sees two core principles as vital to a bill: competition to drive insurance costs down and eliminating insurers' ability to deny coverage because of pre-existing health conditions.

A moderate Democrat in a conservative state, Mr. Nelson has been one of the Senate's most skeptical Democrats on lawmakers' proposals to fix the health system. The former insurance-company executive maintains he is undecided on whether he will vote for a health overhaul, and he has criticized proposals to create a public health-insurance plan.

That position prompted liberal groups to hit him with attack ads in Nebraska for not backing the public plan. This month, Mr. Nelson fought back with television ads defending his position, an unusual move since he doesn't face re-election until 2012.

While Democrats were taking jabs at each other, the Nebraska Republican Party was sending emails to thousands of supporters, saying that the Democrats' health proposals would make health care more expensive, raise taxes, increase the federal budget deficit and harm the quality of care Americans receive. Conservative groups distributed details about town-hall meetings and encouraged Republicans to voice their concerns.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2009 6:15 AM
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