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3:10 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.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Senate healthcare bill steepens payroll tax for high-earners in 2013  —  The Senate's final healthcare bill steepens the payroll tax rates high-income Americans will face.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) released a manager's amendment to the healthcare bill finalizing …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Fausta's Blog
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Stupak, working with GOP, trying to sink abortion compromise  —  An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D. Mich.) coordinated opposition to a Senate compromise on the place of abortion in health care legislation this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, the Conference Catholic Bishops …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: Nelson will vote for cloture  —  Every man has his price, apparently, and Harry Reid found Ben Nelson's price for a cloture vote on ObamaCare.  Nelson announced this morning that the language in the manager's amendment on aborti0n will be enough to secure his support for Reid's compromise bill …
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).
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.
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:
Updated: 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.  —  Update |
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Nelson: I'll Filibuster Post-Conference Health Care Bill If House Forces Major Changes  —  Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) confirmed moments ago that he will support the Senate health care bill, which will soon be amended to include new, more restrictive abortion language.
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Remember What The Fight Is About  —  So Ben Nelson is in.
Discussion: TPMDC, The Daily Dish and Wonk Room
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Snow shutters D.C., Senate has 60 votes
Discussion: D.C. Now, The Foundry and The Politico
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
National Organization for Women opposes Senate health bill
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Ben Nelson's A Yes! Reform Edges Closer To Reality
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Nelson at the mic  —  In announcing his support of the Senate …
Discussion: The Page
Ezra Klein:
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
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Defense appropriations bill passes Senate 88-10, clears way for health bill
Discussion: The Politico
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 …
SusanG / Daily Kos:
A defensive Obama demands up or down vote for health care  —  In a strikingly multi-purpose, multi-messaging weekly address, President Barack Obama this morning tackled— you guessed it — health care, in a discussion that ranged over old history and current events, sounding one part defensive to two parts exhortatory.
Discussion: Congress Matters
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Boxer and Murray on board with abortion compromise
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Copenhagen Connection: Day 13  —  BREAKING: Obama hails …
Discussion: The Washington Note
The Huffington Post:
John Kerry Breaks Out Oppo, Takes On Howard Dean For ‘Kill The Bill’ Comments
Discussion: Firedoglake
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
McCain: Healthcare bill would make matters worse
Discussion: The Page
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
U.N. Climate Talks ‘Take Note’ of Accord Backed by U.S.
Discussion: JustOneMinute and The Page
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Wheeling In The Cots: A Winter Snow Emergency …
ABCNEWS:
Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Flashback of the Day  —  When Sen. Al Franken objected …