Statement via e-mail:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Predicting passage of the health bill by a margin of three or four votes out of 23 lawmakers, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says he intends to vote for legislation overhauling the nation’s health-care system in the Senate Finance Committee today.
The Florida Democrat’s public comments came yesterday on MSNBC News Live, leaving three of the committees’ 13 Democrats reportedly still uncommitted. Of the panel’s 10 Republican members, it appears only Maine’s Olympia Snowe might vote to support the health bill.
When asked on MSNBC how today’s vote will go, Nelson said, “All the Democrats will vote for it to get it out of the committee; and, I’m very hopeful and very optimistic that Olympia will as well. . . . Ultimately, I believe that we are going to end up with a bill on the president’s desk somewhere around Thanksgiving.”
The Finance panel is scheduled to meet this morning with the key vote on health care coming shortly after 2 p.m.
Nelson decided he would support the bill’s passage in committee after one of his chief concerns was addressed by passage of his amendment to preserve benefits for many people enrolled in private Medicare plans, called Medicare Advantage.