With Nelson's nod, only two remaining Democrats—Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas—have not indicated how they would vote.
All three have expressed a number of misgivings over hot-button issues included in the bill such as a public health insurance option, abortion language and overall cost and affordability provisions. Senate leaders over the past several months have given all three moderates the hard sell.
Lincoln, who is in a tough re-election battle in a conservative state, has been courted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama in hopes of getting to the 60-vote threshold.
“I've only been asked 30 or 40 times, ‘Do you have the 60 votes?” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the second highest-ranking Democrat, said. “We're not assuming a thing. We're working hard to bring all the Democrats together for the 60 votes to proceed to this historic debate.”
Earlier this week, Reid released a 10-year, $848 billion bill that would ensure access to coverage to 94% of all Americans, while overhauling the much of the way the insurance industry currently does business.
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