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Senators Reach Deal on Health Bill Roadblock

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A group of Democratic senators has reached a "broad agreement" to resolve an impasse over a proposed government-run health insurance plan, Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.

The dispute over a government-run plan has been seen as a major threat to passage of health care reform legislation, which has been on the Senate floor for nine days, The New York Times reported.

The tentative agreement would allow people ages 55 to 64 to "buy in" to Medicare, and a federal agency would negotiate with insurers to offer national health benefit plans similar to those offered to federal employees, The Times reported.

If private plans don't meet specified targets for making affordable coverage available to all Americans, the federal government would offer a new public insurance plan, said Senate Democratic aides.

The Obama administration welcomed the Senate announcement. "Senators are making great progress, and were pleased that theyre working together to find common ground, said White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, The Times reported.

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