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Dec 9, 2009 8:34 AM by Associated Press

Progress in Senate Democratic health care talks

Democrats say they may be closer to pushing President Barack Obama's health care bill through the Senate. That's after a tentative deal was struck that would drop a top liberal priority - a government-run insurance option. Officials say it will be replaced by a private insurance arrangement that would be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers buy coverage. It would also open Medicare to uninsured Americans starting as young as 55. Later today, senators will likely debate an amendment that would allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada and several other countries. It's seen as a way of holding down consumer costs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says liberal and moderate Democrats have reached a "broad agreement" on a government-run insurance option, but he's not providing details.

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