Bill Nelson Helps Kill Strong "Public Option"

If all of this talk about Charlie Crist facing an electoral backlash from the right wing of his party in his quest for a Senate seat amounts to anything, Sen. Bill Nelson should perhaps worry about a backlash from Florida's progressive and liberally inclined voters.

Nelson has basically called supporters of the public option in the health-care debate ignorant, and he's put a nail in the coffin of one of the stronger public option amendments in consideration.

Nelson sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which is crafting a health-care bill under chairman Max Baucus, a moderate Democrat from Montana.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia offered an amendment to the plan that would include a strong public option, but it was defeated 15-8. Nelson, Baucus, and three other Democrats joined Republicans to defeat the amendment.

A second amendment that includes a weaker public option for health care is now being discussed. Nelson, however, has emerged as a supporter of the "co-op" system after remaining deafeningly silent on the issue throughout the summer.

[WaPo: Senate Finance Committee Rejects Public Option Amendment]

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