For weeks Democrat Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska dominated the daily news about the Senate health care bill by presenting himself as a man of principle, opposed to abortion, and deeply concerned about the lives of precious, unborn babies.
He withheld his vote in favor of the Senate health care bill because it permitted federally funded abortions. Here, from Nelson’s web site is an example of his written statements:
December 8, 2009 – Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson made this comment today after the Senate voted 54-45 to table (kill) an amendment…to extend the federal standard disallowing public funding for abortion to… the Senate health care bill.
“I am disappointed,” said Senator Nelson. “Our proposal to ensure that the Senate health care bill doesn’t open the door to public funding of abortion was reasonable. It was rational because it followed established federal policy. And it was right because taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay for abortions.”
“Established federal policy” bans any public funding of abortion. But on Saturday Nelson announced that he would vote Yes for the health care bill because he was satisfied with the amended abortion language, even though it does explicitly permit some federally funded abortions. At 1:40 AM, Monday Nelson became vote #60, all but guaranteeing passage by the Senate.
It turns out there was a payoff. Nelson’s Nebraska will be the only state not required to pay a portion of the cost of expanding Medicaid and adding an estimated 15 million people to its rolls, nationwide. There is no expiration date for this special treatment of Nebraska, but of course, a future Congress can change any part of any law at any time.
One might be reminded of Matthew 26:
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
In exchange for the moral equivalent of thirty pieces of silver, and the back-slapping approval of fellow Democratic Senators, Nelson sold his vote and betrayed the majority of Americans, and an even larger majority 0f Nebraskans,. He betrayed uncountable babies whose lives will be ruthlessly executed by government sanctioned health plans, at government expense. He betrayed his own principles and beliefs.
What’s worse, the thirty pieces of silver are likely to evaporate before Nelson ever sees them in his home state. On Fox News Sunday interviewer Chris Wallace asked Senator Kent Conrad, who appeared to defend the Senate health care bill:
One of the ways that Democrats got Ben Nelson ‘s vote was to pick up the entire cost, federal and state, of the expanded Medicaid coverage in one state, Nebraska, forever…As chairman of the Budget Committee, how do you justify sweetheart deals for a few states?
Perhaps inadvertently, Conrad began his answer:
But the fact is no Congress can bind a future Congress. So that’s, frankly, without a whole lot of meaning.
Exactly. Nothing in the health care bill has a whole lot of meaning, because everything in it is subject to change, without warning, by future Congresses.
Indeed, this very bill includes a betrayal that proves we can’t politicians and government. Consider the promises of Medicare. In a 1965 speech celebrating passage of the Medicare law President Lyndon Johnson promised:
During your working years, the people of America–you–will contribute through the social security program a small amount each payday for Medicare insurance protection…No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years.
But today’s seniors, after dutifully paying their entire lives, will soon face a shortage of medical services because today’s Congress is lowering the already below-market fees Medicare pays to doctors and hospitals by an additional 21%. Why? To divert the funds into the new health care entitlement program.