SUNDAY TALK

Key Centrists Won't Vote for Current Bill

In the wake of Senate Democrats' decision to begin debating America's health-care makeover, several key centrists went on the Sunday talk circuit to announce they will not support the bill as it currently stands. Every Democratic senator and two independents voted in favor of the procedural motion to begin debate on Saturday, but a powerful handful of them spoke up on national television on Sunday about the need to revamp the legislation. Sen. Ben Nelson said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he voted for debate only to get the opportunity to later change the bill. Meanwhile, Joe Lieberman said he would filibuster a final version of the bill that included a public option. "I do not want to fix our health-care system in a way that creates more of an economic crisis," he said. Liberals remained upbeat: Senator Charles Schumer argued that a final bill with a centrist public option will succeed in the face of filibusters. Senator Dianne Feinstein said that the incremental nature of the legislative process will allow them to resolve problems up until 2014, when a public option would be implemented. "We can watch; we can change it," she said. Pro-public option legislators have not said whether they consider a government insurance program negotiable.