Florida’s Health Care Ruling and Nebraska’s Senate Race

Jane Kleeb
News

The Senate 2012 race in Nebraska has already begun and the only declared candidate so far on the GOP side is “Wrong Way” Jon Bruning. Repealing the health care law and using all the right-wing rhetoric of “Obamacare” is the main page in Bruning’s predictable playbook right now.  It is a short-sighted strategy because just 17% of Americans think the health care law should be repealed.  We’re not on his staff, but that doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to us.

Today’s ruling by an activist judge in Florida, striking down the entire health care law, simply means another fundraising email from Bruning claiming victory where he will surely also mock Senator Nelson’s bold vote on health reform.  But, no surprise, “Wrong Way” Jon’s got the whole thing backwards.

Two judges have ruled the health care law constitutional.  Additionally, legal experts expect the Florida and Virginia’s decisions that struck down parts of the law to be overturned.

The real question is, why are Republicans and Bruning (who is using Nebraska tax payer dollars to join these frivolous lawsuits) suing about a mandate that they once championed in 1993Maybe it’s because the Republicans just didn’t have the juice back in 1993 so they failed to pass anything significant that actually helped families and businesses and are embarrassed at their do-nothing record?

But then again, in 1993 Bruning was not a conservative Republican.  He was a liberal with a capital L, and he backed then-First Lady Clinton’s plan for a government-run, universal health care program.

Don’t just take our word for it, read “Wrong Way” Bruning’s infamous column in the Daily Nebraskan where he praises universal health care and says “our health care system is in dire need of a makeover.”

For all of Bruning’s new-found conservative rhetoric, I still don’t understand why he is turning to judicial activism for a solution rather than working at the state level to make the health care law better.  All Bruning is doing is scoring political points with the conservative GOP base.

Why?  Because he needs them in order to win in a Republican primary for the 2012 Senate nomination.  And right now, they’re anything but cozy to this notorious political flip-flopper.

We all know it’s a matter of time before State Treasurer Stenberg, State Senator Fischer or even Heineman himself jumps in (we can see the stage now — “I said I would not run for this seat, but the people have spoken, and I must answer their call to serve”).  All of whom the conservative base will find much more appealing.

The bottom line is Bruning is headed the wrong way on a key policy issue facing our state, our families and our businesses.  He has not proven himself as a leader.  Instead, he has proven that he’s another politician all too eager to use hyper-political rhetoric.

As our state budget is being squeezed, opportunistic politicians like Bruning are wasting taxpayer dollars on needless lawsuits — putting every American business and family’s health care at risk.

Let’s remember, if Bruning gets his way:

  • Insurance companies will go back to denying coverage to your child if she has a pre-existing condition and dropping you when you get sick.
  • The cost of prescriptions for senior citizens will go up again.
  • Small businesses won’t be able to afford health care coverage for their workers.
  • Parents can’t add their college-aged children to their insurance plans.

From what we know, Bruning is on the Nebraska state insurance program.  Maybe he wants us all to forget that Gov. Heineman already took more than $1 million dollars from the new health care law to help fix some of the issues with their state insurance program.  The very insurance program Bruning and his family are on for their care.

Bruning wants insurance companies back in charge of our health care — but I bet he won’t give up control of his own which is now being subsidized by the federal government.  Good enough for Bruning, but not good enough for our businesses and families.

That’s just the wrong way, Jon…


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