Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who last week insisted that the Senate health care bill include tight restrictions passed by the House on the use of federal money for abortion coverage, now says he would be satisfied with the less restrictive language approved by the Senate Finance Committee.
Nelson's position is apt to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is trying to cobble together a health care bill - which is full of policy mine fields such as abortion - without losing the support of any Democrats, many of whom support abortion rights, while others, like Nelson, do not.
At issue is whether federal money that is used to subsidize health insurance premiums can be separated from private funds to pay for abortions. In the Senate language, that would be allowed. In the House language, it would not.
(updated Tuesday 11/17 to clarify Nelson response)