There is word that there could be a vote this weekend on health care reform. Right now the bill is on the House side. Senator Ben Nelson doesn’t have specific numbers regarding who is in favor or opposed of this proposed legislation.
“I haven’t done anything to do a whip count in the House. I heard all kinds of things. The truth of the matter is nobody knows. To the extent that all the votes aren’t there, I suspect the leaders are working with their members to try to bring them on board but I’m not hearing anything specific on what the latest count may be.”
Senator Nelson says there are a number of stumbling blocks.
“Part of this is the unpopularity of the bill or any bill for that matter. I think that is a concern. The cost to make sure the numbers have been scored and analyzed by the Congressional Budget office. I understanding they haven’t had those scores yet. There are people holding back until they see what is there. I’m in the same mind. I don’t know what the house is going to do so I can’t have my vote counted right now when I don’t know what the underlying package coming over from them might consist of.”
Senator Nelson says changes will be made to the proposed legislation.
“We don’t know what the sidecar provisions would be in which they make changes in the Senate bill. For example, the House version, as I understand it and the President recommended it and it has been my goal all along is to extend the Medicaid money to all states so Nebraska isn’t the only state getting some relief from that unfunded federal mandate. That is supposed to be in the legislation. But, there is an awful lot of politics involved. Some want to kill health reform for political gain. This is unfortunate but a fact.”
Right now, House Democrats are not releasing information if they have enough votes to pass the bill.