Nelson goes on air with defense of health vote

Nebraska's Lincoln Journal Star reports this morning that Sen. Ben Nelson will begin airing a television ad tonight during the Holiday bowl game defending his support of the health care reform bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve.

A Rasmussen Reports poll on Tuesday showed 55 percent of Nebraska voters held an unfavorable view of Nelson and that Republican Gov. Dave Heineman would defeat him in a 2012 Senate race by a margin of 61 to 30.

According to the paper, Nelson tells the television audience that the bill does not represent a government takeover of health care.

“With all the distortions about health care reform, I want you to hear directly from me,” he says in the ad.

Nelson held back his support of the bill until the last minute, when Senate Democratic leaders made changes to abortion funding and provided Nebraska with permanent coverage of the bill's proposed Medicaid expansion worth $100 million over the next decade.

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