POLITICS
10/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ben Nelson: Back To Opposing the Public Option

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has managed to keep his position on a public health care option maddeningly opaque for months. First, he said he was against the idea. Then he said he was open to it. Then he called it a "dealbreaker", before again saying he was willing to look into the idea.

Now, as the health care fight appears to be winding down, Nelson appears to be returning to an opposing view. Lincoln Journal-Star reporter Don Walton interviewed Nelson on Wednesday and concluded that "Nelson is wary of the public option proposal."

Nelson was asked how the health-reform debate ends:

"I see two endings.

"One is we find areas we can agree upon and we begin to do things incrementally, taking more of an insurance approach, not a government approach.

"Or it implodes.

"With great disappointment for people on one side and to the apparent glee of those on the other side."

Greg Sargent points out that, as one of the key votes on the health care bill, Nelson himself can help decide whether or not reform "implodes."

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