HUGE: Democrats Have 60 Votes For Health Care Bill

HUGE: Democrats Have 60 Votes For Health Care Bill


They got Ben Nelson.

From Wash Post:

Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the final Democratic holdout on health care, announced to his colleagues Saturday morning that he would support the Senate reform bill, clearing the way for final passage by Christmas of President Obama’s top domestic policy priority.

Asked if he had secured the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) told reporters, “It seems that way.”

The Senate is expected to work its way through a series of procedural motions over the next few days, with a vote on the legislation scheduled the evening of Dec. 24th. A conference with the House to produce a final bill would likely extend into January, Senate aides said.

So how did they get him?

Well, he had initially objected on the abortion provisions that had been raised, but it looks like he secured some special favors for Nebraskans as well…

Under the new abortion provisions, states can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the new insurance exchanges the bill would set up, to serve individuals who lack coverage through their jobs. Plus, enrollees in plans that do cover abortion procedures would pay for the coverage with separate checks — one for abortion, one for the rest of any health-care services.

Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax, and was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.

“I know this is hard for some of my colleagues to accept and I appreciate their right to disagree,” Nelson told reporters at the Capitol, of the many changes made at his behest. “But I would not have voted for this bill without these provisions.”

Are they cheering in Omaha tonight?

More as it develops…

  • Reaganite Republican

    Iif people weren’t pissed at the power-drunk Dems before, they likely are now…

    These tools like Nelson will soon regret the day they did this for Obama, he’ll pull all them right-over the abyss with him… and the coming GOP majority will just rescind it anyway-

  • Nick Benjamin

    You got any reasoning to back up your argument?

    Nelson isn’t going to “soon regret” anything. He’s not up for re-election until 2012. He’ll hear a crapload of complaints from tea-party types, but if the other side’s complaining gets to you it was pretty stupid for you to go into politics.

    As for “power-drunk,” the only Democrat who can possibly be described that way right now is Joe Lieberman. Everybody else is keenly aware that they have the power to do what Joe Lieberman wants, and nothing more.

    As for a coming GOP majority, where are you gonna get those voters Reaganite? Right now your poll numbers are up because a large section of whit, working class, Americans of a certain age are worked up. That means they are likely voters, combine that with the nasty controversy the health care debate has created and it’s no wonder your poll numbers are up.

    Unfortunately for you-all the health debate will end in a few weeks. And the white working-class demographic you’re basing your party on is shrinking as a proportion of the population. You-all can win in 2010 with your current strategy. But by 2012 you’re gonna have to make major changes to your platform to attract blacks and latinoes. You’ll probably have to tone down the culture war stuff, too.