12/30/2009

Some hope that the health care takeover will still be stopped

Ben Nelson is facing a lot of flak in Nebraska for breaking his promises on government funding of abortions and his pledge not to raise taxes.

As a fresh poll measured the political cost of Sen. Ben Nelson's health reform vote, he prepared Tuesday to take his case directly to Nebraskans during Wednesday night's Holiday Bowl game.
Nelson will air a new TV ad in which he attempts to debunk opposition claims that the Senate legislation represents a government takeover, and he makes the case for health care reform. . . .
The political damage Nelson may have incurred in providing the critical 60th vote that cleared the way for Senate passage of the health care reform bill showed up Tuesday in a poll released by Rasmussen Reports.
The telephone survey of 500 Nebraskans, conducted Monday, suggested Republican Gov. Dave Heineman would defeat Nelson in a potential 2012 Senate race by a 61-30 margin.
The poll showed Nelson with a 55 percent unfavorable rating and 64 percent disapproval for Democratic health care reform legislation.
"The good news for (Nelson) is that he doesn't have to face Nebraska voters until 2012," Rasmussen Reports stated in posting results of the survey on its Web site. . . .


Governors who had previously supported the health care legislation are now quite upset with what they are reading.

The governors of the nation’s two largest Democratic states are leveling sharp criticism at the Senate health care bill, claiming that it would leave their already financially strapped states even deeper in the hole.

New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson and California GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are urging congressional leaders to rework the Medicaid financing in the Senate-passed bill, warning that under that version their states will be crushed by billions in new costs.

After the Senate passed the bill in a Christmas Eve vote, Paterson said the expansion would leave New York $1 billion in the lurch. The state faces a $6.8 billion budget shortfall heading into the 2010 fiscal year.

“[I] am deeply troubled that the Senate version of the bill worsens what was already an inequitable situation for New York and I will continue to be an advocate on behalf of New Yorkers to ensure we are treated fairly by this critical federal legislation,” Paterson said in a statement.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Schwarzenegger wrote that the legislation would create a “crushing new burden” for a state with a whopping $20.7 billion budget deficit. . . .

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