Bill Nelson: Public Option Won't Pass

A quick check of a paper I worked for awhile ago yielded this very, VERY interesting nugget…

Bill Nelson predicts ‘public option’ will not pass the U.S. Senate

A government-run public option is not likely to be included in the final health care reform bill, said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, at a meeting of business officials Tuesday.

Nelson addressed the Chamber of Southwest Florida at Edison State College on a myriad of political issues – the recession, health care reform and off-shore drilling – and said that even though he is a Democrat he’s not supporting the public option recently passed by the House of Representatives.

“At the end of the day, a public plan is not going to pass the Senate,” he said. “That is why the Senate version will basically be close to what is the final result that will ultimately go to the president for his signature.

Amazingly enough, Nelson now appears to hold the position that the public option is an unnecessarily divisive part of the entire “reform” package that won’t actually help many people and can only now serve as a weapon to torpedo the entire bill.

“You can’t get 60 votes for a public plan. If you had a public plan, the maximum a public plan would cover is no more than 2 percent of all American citizens and yet the way it has dominated the debate you would think that is the only thing that is important,” he said.

Well duh, at least for now. The public plan would cost its customers more than private plans, but of course the big problem with it is that it opens a pathway to complete government control of health care. So what does it mean that a fairly liberal senator is now saying all of this publicly? That Reid is likely to jettison the public plan at some point to get Lieberman, Snowe and possibly Collins on board to counter a possible defection of Sanders and Burris. I doubt the last two would support a filibuster with the GOP over a final bill without a public option, so the GOP needs to be wary of this tactic. Getting rid of the public option doesn’t make this bill better. In fact, then it just moves from a gateway to government-run health care to a massive gift to the health insurance industry courtesy of individual and business mandates and that’s a gift that said industry sure as hell doesn’t deserve.

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