Ben Nelson "Not 100 Percent Certain" He Will Vote for Final Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ben Nelson "Not 100 Percent Certain" He Will Vote for Final Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 12
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson earned himself the ire of the majority of Americans and pro-life advocates when he became the 60th vote for the pro-abortion government-run health care bill. Now, Nelson says Democrats shouldn’t count on him to deliver the final vote on the final version of the legislation.

Should the top Democrats merging the House and Senate versions of the health care bill expand abortion funding beyond what Nelson already compromised on in the Senate, he says he will vote against the bill.

Nelson also says he is a potential no vote if they insert the public option, currently found in the House bill but not the Senate measure, into the final measure.

Asked if he planned to vote for the final legislation in the Senate, Nelson told The Chadron Record newspaper in an interview, “I hope so, but I’m not 100 percent certain of it."

“I’ve made it so clear. It isn’t going to happen," Nelson said of the public option. “I’m not giving away that 60th vote. I’ve not been bribed for it.”

But, in the interview, Nelson sounded more like someone who was lobbying for support for his decision to support the legislation rather than a lawmaker who was prepared to go back on his vote that upset so many.

“There really isn’t an option of doing nothing," he said.

Nelson’s new comments come after he said last week that it was a "mistake" for the Obama administration and Democrats to push the bill at a time when the nation is facing a gigantic financial crisis.

“I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy,” he said.

He complimented President Barack Obama on his handling of other issues but said those successes “are minor in comparison to health care.”

“I would have preferred not to be dealing with health care in the midst of everything else, and I think working on the economy would have been a wiser move,” he said.

Nelson has come under intense criticism from pro-life advocates after compromising his long-held pro-life views to okay abortion funding under the Senate measure.

Initially, Nelson defended his decision — bashing pro-life groups in the process by saying they opposed his pro-abortion language because they didn’t have any input.

Nelson is facing local rallies and opposition from local Nebraskans and polls showing him badly trailing a potential 2012 re-election opponent as a result of his vote and the pro-abortion deal.

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