Health Care

DNC Spent $500,000 for Nelson Ads

Senator Ben Nelson is notorious for winning millions for his state while negotiating over health-care reform, but could there be more? Ads have hit Nebraska airwaves praising the Democratic senator for working to keep a Medicare buy-in and the public option out of the health-care reform bill. Nelson speaks into the camera about blocking those “who wanted a government takeover,” but if you look closely, it’s not a Nelson campaign ad. The ad was actually paid for by the Nebraska Democratic Party, which in turn got its cash from the Democratic National Committee. Nelson was one of the moderate holdouts who wouldn’t say whether he’d vote to block a Republican filibuster and push the Senate version of the bill through until Majority Leader Harry Reid promised that all new Medicaid enrollees in Nebraska would be paid for by the federal government. Nelson announced he would vote for the bill December 19, and the funds—$498,760—were donated by the DNC on December 28.