Omaha Public Radio News
11:52 am
Fri October 16, 2009

Nelson, Johanns discuss health care reform

Omaha, NE – Nebraska's U.S. Senators have different views on a health care reform bill passed out of a Senate committee earlier this week.

The Finance Committee advanced Senator Max Baucus' bill with only one Republican vote. Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat, says that's a promising sign for the legislation. He says bipartisanship is needed if a health care reform package is to have any credibility. Nelson expects a vote on a health care reform bill later this year. He says he's trying to keep an open mind about a public option but won't decide how he'll vote until he sees the legislation in its entirety.

Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican, is skeptical of the bill's $829 billion price tag. He says its actual cost is over $1 trillion. Johanns believes the legislation will cut funding for Medicare, home health care programs and hospice care. He says it'll also raise taxes and premiums.