Nelson statement on final Senate health care vote
WASHINGTON -- Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson released the following statement this morning after voting for final passage of the Senate's version of the health care reform bill. The bill now moves to conference committee where members of the House and Senate will work out a final compromise bill:
"Today, the Senate approved historic health reform. Let me be clear: it is not a government-run insurance program. It meets the principles I laid out for Nebraskans last summer: that it must hold down spending, help our small businesses, improve care, control costs and, most importantly, work for Nebraska.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will save $132 billion over the first 10 years and as much as $1.3 trillion over the second 10 years until 2029. That's cost control.
Our small businesses will have access to a new Small Business Health Options Program where they can pool together for better insurance coverage, and tax credits to help them cover employees.
The bill improves care by eliminating pre-existing conditions and the dropping of coverage when you get sick.
It lowers costs because it is fully paid for and includes $447 billion returned to middle class Americans in tax credits to help make insurance more affordable.
And it works for Nebraska: it has grants for doctors serving in rural areas, a Medicaid expansion insuring about 80,000 more Nebraskans and it promotes competition but not government-run health care. As a result, Nebraskans will obtain better care at lower cost."