Senator Ben Nelson’s Town Hall on Health Care Reform August 20, 2009
Madonna Rehabilitation Center, Lincoln, NE
by Sara F.
- Nelson said he supports legislation that would “cut the spiraling cost of health care.” He added that the increasing cost of health care is not sustainable and that the cost should not be added to the deficit.
- Louis G., a new Grassrooter, asked the Senator why he keeps that "D" behind his name when he knows what Pelosi and friends are doing. Louis added, "Obama's policies frighten me."
- When asked if he'd accept/use the same plan that is settled upon for health care (i.e., give up his "Cadillac plan"), Nelson emphatically stated he would and added that he doesn't have a "Cadillac plan" and that he had had a better insurance plan when he was Nebraska's governor...
- Pre-existing condition restrictions must be eliminated.
- Co-operatives (not-for-profit insurers) may be a possibility that could work. Nelson mentioned a successful one in the Northwest owned by co-op members - similar to our ag co-ops. They have "many regulations" and they're "very time consuming to set up."
- Nelson wants "portability of coverage" across state lines.
- He is for wellness incentives.
- He said NO to the question about the possibility of a "partisan run-it-through bill". Nelson said the Robert Byrd rule would prevent that.
- He wants to "prohibit coverage for illegals".
- He said legislation would not allow the government financing of abortion.
- He told the background story of the "death panels" and how the "misunderstanding" got started from certain cable tv and talk radio shows. Nelson said NO on the "pull the plug on Grandma" scare.
- He said Nebraska has exemplary Tort Reform compared to other states.
- He was urged by some questioners to support a public option insurance alternative. Nelson said, "The last thing we want to do is destabilize the health plans of 200 million people."
- He said he wrote letters to Senators Reid and McConnell stating there should be no arbitrary deadlines to meet on this issue.
- Nelson said, "The people are traumatized by anger and fear - we're told who to dislike and what to be angry about." --Was the Senator insulting those of us free-thinking, sovereign people who listen, read, think (with the help of the internet, talk shows, and Fox News)?
- A young man in the Service asked Nelson where in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution it allows for a government takeover of health care. Nelson basically answered with a question, "Where does it (the Constitution) permit Social Security, Medicare, or Kids Connection?"
On a handout passed out at the event, "I am for comprehensive, bipartisan health care reform that Congress can pass this year. I am working to ensure that we do it right." -Senator Ben Nelson
Also, his reform goals:
-Keep spending under control
-Reduce health care costs
-Improve the quality of health care
-Expand coverage to those who cannot obtain it today
-Help our small businesses
-Share and take advantage of new technology
-Reforms must work for Nebraskans