I knew this was coming. Ben Nelson has reached an agreement on the Senate Health Care reform bill and will vote for cloture. Basically, like Senator Mary Landrieu, Nelson was bought off.
From The Washington Post, we learn what Nelson’s price was:
Under the new abortion provisions, states can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the new insurance exchanges the bill would set up, to serve individuals who lack coverage through their jobs. Plus, enrollees in plans that do cover abortion procedures would pay for the coverage with separate checks -- one for abortion, one for the rest of any health-care services.
Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax, and was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.
So Nelson’s price was an agreement that allows him to look like he is supporting a tougher abortion ban (it’s not, see Hot Air for details) and the nation picking up part of Nebraska’s Medicaid costs.
Nelson is a bigger fool than I ever imagined. If Nelson thinks any of this will remain once the House and Senate meet to hammer out a combined bill, then he is an ass. For final passage Reid only needs 51 votes (Reconciliation). If Reid is half the weasel I think he is, he as already worked out the proper combination of senators who will give him those 51 votes. It is those 51 senator’s reservations that Reid will use to negotiate with the House. Landrieu, Lieberman and Nelson’s deals will be tossed to the wayside.
Via: The Washington Post
Via: Hot Air
Via: Talking Points Memo