Sen. Ben Nelson expects the United States Supreme Court to strike down federal healthcare legislation approved in 2010.
Nelson, a Democrat, provided a vote crucial to passage of the legislation pushed by President Obama.
Nelson tells reporters during a conference call that opponents of the federal healthcare overhaul might eventually come to regret a Supreme Court decision to strike down the law.
“If anyone thinks throwing out the individual mandate is a victory, they need to think again. Let me say that (again), if they think this is a victory, they need to think again,” Nelson says. “Because I’m afraid the Supreme Court’s action will actually be paving the way to a single-payer system or it will pave the way back to the old, broken healthcare system; neither of which I like or would be good for Nebraskans.”
Nelson says he believes the individual mandate contained in the law is constitutional and not an abuse of Congressional powers as claimed by opponents. Nelson says his belief is backed by a recent survey of constitutional scholars conducted by Bloomberg News, in which a majority views the law as constitutional.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling tomorrow.
Nelson says that if the court overturns the law, it’s up to opponents to put forward an alternative. Nelson sees few alternatives to healthcare reform if the Supreme Court overturns the law.
“It’s a hopeless cause. The other side broke it. They own it,” Nelson states.
Nelson accuses opponents of placing politics over policy.
“It’s a political victory until people understand what the results of this will be and once they understand it, it’s not going to be a political victory for those who broke it,” according to Nelson.
Earlier, the court held three days of oral arguments on the case.
AUDIO: Sen. Ben Nelson statement on anticipated Supreme Court healthcare ruling. [4:45]