Nelson Rejects Backdoor GOP Plan To Kill Health Law

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Democrats are holding together to close backdoor efforts to kill the health care law better than the GOP would like.

They would prefer that vulnerable Democrats to join them in support of a new measure that would allow states to opt out of key provisions of the law — a plan designed to weaken and kill it.

But at least one of those Democrats isn’t biting.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) says he likes pieces of that measure — in particular allowing states to opt out of the law’s call for a Medicaid expansion. But he can’t support it overall.“Pieces of it yes, in whole no,” he said outside the chamber as the Senate voted Wednesday evening.

“In other respects it could be McConnell-light, by taking away the rights of young people to have coverage without pre-existing conditions, kicking the young graduates from college off their parents plan — because that’s what it involves,” he said. “The repealers who have their own government health insurance are very eager and ready to make sure that others don’t get it through the law that’s in place.”

Nelson’s been pretty resistant to these efforts since the law was enacted. But this strikes a populist tone you don’t usually hear from him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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