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Ben Nelson



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tells Dems he’s voting for the bill.

The Washington Post reports:

“We’re there,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), as he headed into a special meeting to announce the deal.

Democratic leaders spent days trying to hammer out a deal with Nelson, and worked late Friday night with Nelson on abortion coverage language that had proved the major stumbling block. But Nelson also secured other favors for his home state.

Asked if he was prepared to support the bill, Nelson said, “Yeah.”

With Nelson seemingly on board, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid unveiled the final version of a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system that would expand coverage to an additional 31 million Americans, coming closer to attaining the Democrats’ longsought goal of universal medical coverage.

I’m holding out hope for Jim Webb or someone to be the profile in courage in this Senate story. (No, I’m not holding my breath. But I’m happy to be thanking Webb on Christmas Eve.)

UPDATE: In a press conference, he says that on being consistent with Hyde on abortion: “I believe that we have accomplished that goal.”

UPDATE: Nelson warns the Dems: “I reserve the right . . . to vote against this bill.”



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