OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson is defending his role in the U.S. Senate's health care reform bill.
Nelson says he never asked for the provision that was added to the bill requiring the federal government to pay for expanded Medicaid services in Nebraska.
Nelson, who delivered the crucial 60th vote Democrats needed, says he wanted an opt-out provision to be added, so all states could avoid the underfunded Medicaid mandate in the bill.
Nelson says he simply tried to improve the health reform bill and do what's best for Nebraskans.
Nelson says he stuck by his principles throughout the debate to eliminate a government-run insurance plan and make sure federal money won't pay for abortions.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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