Ben Nelson Coming Under Fire Over His "Public Option" Comments. Will The Public Option Be Watered Down?

Ben Nelson has done so much damage in such a short time. Remember what he did to the stimulus package?

The Liberal blogosphere has been bashing Ben Nelson over his statements against not backing a public option for health care.

Sen. Ben Nelson is being targeted in a mailing and Internet ad campaign asking people to withhold their political contributions to him and other members of Congress.The campaign takes issue with the Nebraska Democrat's opposition to President Barack Obama's proposed public health-insurance option. That option would create a government insurance plan to compete with private plans...read on

He's taken a boatload of cash from the health care industry so when he said this, it didn't come as a shock to me. Nicole Bell wrote this story last month: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) Opposes Public Health Plan. His pockets are lined with gold from the Health care industry

Nelson plans on gathering together some like-minded sell-outs Democrats to oppose any public health plan. Go to Open Secrets to find out who has donated money to Nelson last few years for his re-election and whaddya know? Blue Cross/Blue Shield is in the top 5 with $31K. In fact, Nelson received more than $230,000 from the healthcare industry in the last four years. Actually, HCAN lists more than $600,000 from the insurance industry to Nelson.

Now he's changing his tune a little bit, but don't let this fool you.

Nelson, according to three people in the room, told the group that he was open to a public option, the primary Democratic goal of reform and anathema to conservatives.

The word I'm hearing is that the health care industry is going to back the public option and then Nelson and Co. will make it so bad that nobody would ever want it.

Howie Klein met Donna Edwards last week at an event I was supposed to go to, but couldn't make and he writes:

One of the House's most outspoken and well-reasoned advocates of universal health care-- sidetracked by the puppets of the Medical Industrial Complex to a chance for a "public option"-- Donna is worried that Big Insurance will embrace the "public option." Embrace and then smother to death in a bear hug. They don't want the competition, so they have given their well-paid allies-- Republicans, Blue Dogs, members of the Evan Bayh anti-Obama Bloc of Senate Conservadems-- their orders: let it pass and then make it dysfunctional. They will gamble everything that their three highest paid shills-- Arlen Specter (R/D-PA- $4,026,933), Max Baucus (D-MT- $2,833,731) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $2,758,468)-- will be able to sabotage the public option sufficiently enough to ensure that it is not robust and not competitive.

That looks to be their strategy. Change Congress has a petition up and writes:

Ben Nelson said he may not support Obama’s plan. Is this why?

Nelson raised more than $2 million from insurance and health care interests in his three campaigns for federal office, 83% from out-of-state. -- Public Campaign analysis

We need to keep holding his feet to the fire so please sign on, but keep both our eyes on how Congress handles the "Public Option."

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