Ben Nelson: Reconciliation May Be Necessary
by Nathan Empsall, Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 02:10:28 PM EST
You can be pissed off at Ben Nelson over the "Cornhusker Kickback" or Mary Landrieu and the "Louisiana Purchase" all you want, but in the end game, Nelson might just be the reason health care reform passes. First it was Evan Bayh, now it's Nelson. You'd almost not realize it was the "moderate" crowd we're dealing with here. From NTV:
Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson says he's open to using special budget rules known as reconciliation to pass a health care package.
Speaking to Lincoln's KLIN radio Friday, the Democrat said it's the least preferable method of passing legislation but sometimes it's necessary.
Nelson stressed that he won't decide whether to support an overhaul package until he sees the final details, including a cost estimate.
This is not the first time Nelson has expressed his lack of opposition to using budget reconciliation for health care, but his previous statement on the issue came shortly before the State of the Union and got drowned out by the postgame. From Bayh to Nelson, as senators begin to realize that bipartisanship truly is impossible and reconciliation really is the only option, this is slowly moving in the right direction. I was wrong: maybe we really do have the 50 votes (plus Biden) we need.
Nelson dances and plays games to get as much out of the process for himself and his state as he can, and you can't blame him, that's his job. But at the end of the day, he'll probably be with us on this. Thank you, Senator. Now do the right thing and bring this home.
Speaking of reconciliation, here are two good myth-busting articles. Ezra Klein compares the cost of health care reform and the Bush tax cuts and calls out Lamar Alexander's hypocrisy, and NPR looks at past health care measures passed via reconciliation.