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Senate Democrats land 60th vote for health care

SATURDAY, DEC. 19, 2009, 7:17 A.M.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A holdout no more, Sen. Ben Nelson agreed Saturday to provide the 60th and deciding vote for Senate passage of sweeping health care legislation, capping a year of struggle and a final burst of deadline bargaining.

Nelson, D-Neb., said he made his decision after winning fresh concessions to limit the availability of abortions in insurance sold in a newly created exchanges.

“I know this is hard for some of my colleagues to accept and I appreciate their right to disagree. But I would not have voted for this bill without these provisions,” he said at a news conference in the Capitol.

He also noted he had successfully fended off attempts to provide for a government-run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.



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