With Leadership Readying Dem-Only Health Care Bill, Ben Nelson Calls for Bipartisanship


After months of trying to compromise with Republicans on health care, Democratic leaders are preparing to move forward with a Democrat-only health care bill after. The GOP is predictably pulling out all the stops–warning Dems that going it alone will cost them dearly, and drafting as many procedural hurdles as possible to stymie those efforts. But how are the conservative Democrats reacting? They’re calling for bipartisanship, too.

“In my view, bipartisan legislation translates to better legislation and incorporates broader policy solutions to today’s health care problems. Many people are rightfully leery of government. It will be difficult to achieve a bipartisan bill. But it will be even harder to push through a purely partisan bill,” wrote Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in an opinion piece for the Lincoln Journal Star. “When Congress reconvenes next week, I hope colleagues return from home with a greater sense that this target is within reach. By shedding disagreements and focusing on practical health care reforms we also can cast aside lingering fears of a government takeover, runaway deficit spending, tax increases, or coverage for abortions or illegal immigrants.”

Democrats have addressed most of those fears already–though the House has called for a small surtax on wealth Americans so that health care reform doesn’t entail “runaway deficit spending.”

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