Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Live-blogging Senator Ben Nelson's speech - Federation of American Hospitals annual meeting

I am curious to see what he will say about his Nebraska Medicaid deal. (Spoiler: he said nothing. Big surprise.)

Some bullet points from his remarks:

*We must "bridge the partisan divide." He is always asked when he returns home why there is "obstructionism" on the issue.

*We need to get away from "the inner workings of the Beltway." Like a special Medicaid deal for Nebraska? This is really the richest talking point I have heard yet, from anyone.

*"Starting over" is "code for doing nothing." This would be an effective talking point if the Republicans weren't offering alternatives (Paul Ryan, for example).

*Regarding reconciliation: (paraphrasing) We need to focus on the substance of the bill, not the process. The question is whether this bill deserves an up or down vote. The only people who complain about reconciliation are the people who are out of power.

(Really? I'd be curious to know how many times reconciliation has been used to pass sweeping entitlement legislation.)

*The public option is a bad idea and should not be in any legislation passed by the Congress.

*We must get past "the partisan divide." This one came up at least 10 times and is clearly a major Democrat talking point.


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