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2:05 PM ET, December 19, 2009

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 Top Items: 
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Sen. Ben Nelson to announce support for health-care bill  —  Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the final Democratic holdout on health care, was prepared to announce to his caucus Saturday morning that he would support the Senate reform bill, clearing the way for final passage by Christmas.
RELATED:
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Ben Nelson's Medicaid deal  —  Sen. Mary Landrieu got the “Louisiana Purchase.”  Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up most his state's future Medicaid tab — forever.  —  As part of the deal to win Nelson's support, the federal government will pay for Nebraska's new Medicaid recipients.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Nelson Agrees to Abortion Funding in at Least 13 States?  —  Harry Reid has released the manager's amendment that Ben Nelson has reportedly agreed to vote for, meaning that the Senate bill has 60 votes.  The abortion language includes the phony segregation of funding language that was rejected in the House.
Igor / Wonk Room:
Nelson's Nebraska To Receive Extra Medicaid Funds Under Senate Bill  —  This morning's managers amendment to the merged Senate health bill goes a long way towards satisfying the demands of Democratic hold-out and all-important 60th vote Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama slams insurance industry going into health reform's home stretch  —  As the Senate prepares for a final round of votes on its healthcare reform bill, President Barack Obama chastised the insurance industry for its lobbying against the legislation.  —  In his weekly address Saturday …
Discussion: The Swamp, Scared Monkeys and TBogg
Prescriptions:
Senate Democrats Clinch a Deal on Health Bill  —  Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times  —  Sen. Ben Nelson, right, agreed after hours of negotiation Friday to back the Senate Democrats' legislation, making him the pivotal 60th vote.  —  WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats …
New York Times:
Democrats Clinch a Deal on Health Bill  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats said on Saturday that they had clinched an agreement on a far-reaching overhaul of the nation's health care system, and that they were on track to approve the legislation by Christmas over fierce Republican opposition.
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Remember What The Fight Is About  —  So Ben Nelson is in.  —  Harry Reid finally has his entire caucus on board for a health care reform bill.  The 60-vote bar has been reached (until such time as Lieberman feels the spotlight drifting away, so who knows for sure).
Discussion: TPMDC, The Daily Dish and Wonk Room
Igor / Wonk Room:
Senate Bill Would Allow States To Prohibit Abortion Coverage In Exchange  —  The new managers amendment to the merged Senate bill incorporates Sen. Bob Casey's (D-PA) language strengthening the segregation of private and public funds and increasing federal support for adoptions …
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Nelson: I'll Filibuster Post-Conference Health Care Bill If House …
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Nelson at the mic  —  In announcing his support of the Senate …
Discussion: The Page
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
The Congressional Budget Office scores the amended Senate bill  —  Another day, another Congressional Budget Office report (pdf) saying that health-care reform will cover more than 30 million people while substantially cutting the federal deficit.  —  There are a couple of changes worth noting here.
Discussion: Wonk Room and TalkLeft
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
CBO: Senate health bill costs $871 billion  —  The Senate's healthcare bill would cost $871 billion and cover 31 million more Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the bill.  —  The CBO said that the final legislation, unveiled Saturday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Senate healthcare bill steepens payroll tax for high-earners in 2013
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
McCain: Healthcare bill would make matters worse
Discussion: The Page
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Defense appropriations bill passes Senate 88-10, clears way for health bill
Discussion: The Politico
The Huffington Post:
John Kerry Breaks Out Oppo, Takes On Howard Dean For ‘Kill The Bill’ Comments  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  The pushback against Howard Dean for his call to “kill” the Senate health care bill, continued on Friday night, with a prominent Senate Democrat picking out an old quote …
Discussion: Firedoglake
RELATED:
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Ben Nelson's A Yes! Reform Edges Closer To Reality
Chris Frates / The Politico:   Boxer and Murray on board with abortion compromise
Victoria Reggie Kennedy / Washington Post:
The moment Ted Kennedy would not want to lose  —  My late husband, Ted Kennedy, was passionate about health-care reform.  It was the cause of his life.  He believed that health care for all our citizens was a fundamental right, not a privilege, and that this year the stars …
Guardian:
Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure  —  Deal thrashed out at talks condemned as climate change scepticism in action  —  The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement in Copenhagen tonight, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries …
 
 
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 More Items: 
SusanG / Daily Kos:
A defensive Obama demands up or down vote for health care
Discussion: Congress Matters
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Politics as a Vocation  —  Everyone thinking about health care …
Victor Zapanta / Think Progress:
Gingrich Can't Make Up His Mind On CO2 Emissions
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Copenhagen Connection: Day 13  —  BREAKING: Obama hails …
Discussion: The Washington Note
New York Times:
U.N. Climate Talks ‘Take Note’ of Accord Backed by U.S.
Discussion: JustOneMinute and The Page
 Earlier Items: 
George Monbiot / Guardian:
Copenhagen negotiators bicker and filibuster while the biosphere burns
Michelle / Hot Air:
Hot Air TV: Jason Mattera takes on the AARP
Discussion: HotMES and The Other McCain
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Wheeling In The Cots: A Winter Snow Emergency …
ABCNEWS:
Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists
Discussion: This ain't Hell …
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Flashback of the Day  —  When Sen. Al Franken objected …
 

 
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