Ben Nelson states he is a Democrat, but he sure tows or follows the Republican line. He is not for real health care reform, definitely not for the public option. His history is one riddled with closeness to the insurance industry, hell he was a former insurance regulator in his State of Nebraska. So, how he will vote is nothing new, but he did not have any problems with reconciliation for the Bush's Tax Cuts for the rich, in fact he was lock step with the Republicans on that vote. But expecting him to vote or do the right thing for the American Public? Don't hold your breath on that one.
Now that Sen. Ben Nelson, (D-Neb.) has definitively stated that he opposes the use of reconciliation to pass health care reform, it's worth noting that on at least two previous occasions the Nebraska Democrat had no qualms supporting the budgetary procedure as a means of passing legislation.
On May 26, 2001, Nelson was one of a dozen Democrats to support president George W. Bush's Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: the massive tax cut package that defined the administration's plans for job growth. The bill was passed using reconciliation -- meaning it wasn't subject to a Democratic filibuster -- and received the support of 58 Senators.
Two years later, Bush had introduced a second tax-cut package, this one entitled The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. That too was passed through reconciliation with Nelson's vote proving even more critical. The Nebraskan was one of only two Democrats to back the measure, giving it exactly the 50 votes needed to become law (Vice President Dick Cheney voted yea to break the impasse).
Hypocrite? That word is too nice in describing Nelson.