11th Hour

Nelson Says 'No Deal' on Health Care

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent his Friday in a marathon negotiating session with Sen. Ben Nelson, the last Democratic holdout to the health-care reform bill. But Nelson emerged from the meeting at 8 p.m. and told reporters there's "no deal" yet on the bill, though he says he isn't ruling out the possibility that he will vote for the bill. Nelson said Reid’s Saturday-morning deadline does not encourage him to speed up his decision. He is seeking stronger language about financing of abortions and Medicaid obligations for his state. In order to pass the bill by Christmas Eve, Reid will need a deal in place by morning so that the reading of the full amendment that Republicans are expected to demand can end by 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Reid needs a full day between ending debate on the amendment and when the Senate votes on the full bill Monday morning, Politico reports. If the amendment is introduced Saturday, Reid will most likely have 60 votes to break a potential Republican filibuster next week.