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Three Dems Threaten to Block Health Debate

Reid & Co. scramble to appease Lincoln, Nelson and Landrieu
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 10:43 AM CST
Three Dems Threaten to Block Health Debate
Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu aren't even sure they'll vote to start debate.   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Three Senate Democrats are threatening to prevent the health care reform bill from even making it to the floor of the chamber. Normally it’s a routine procedure to get the 60 votes necessary to open debate on a bill, but Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Mary Landrieu are balking on helping the bill over even that preliminary hurdle, reports the New York Times.

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Democrats are rushing to appease them by softening the bill; to win over Nelson, for example, they may cut a section stripping health insurers of their anti-trust exemption. Other Democrats are furious over the tactic. “We’ve all got problems with the bill,” says Bob Casey. But “I would hope we could all support the effort to get the bill to the floor.” Harry Reid says he’s still cautiously optimistic he can bring the terrible trio on board. (Read more health care reform stories.)

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