November 6th, 2009
11:48 AM ET
5 years ago

House health care vote may be delayed, sources say

Sharp differences among Democrats over abortion and immigration have raised questions over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi currently has the 218-vote majority needed for passage of the bill.
Sharp differences among Democrats over abortion and immigration have raised questions over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi currently has the 218-vote majority needed for passage of the bill.

Washington (CNN) - A hotly anticipated health care reform vote by the full House of Representatives may be delayed until Sunday, according to two Democratic sources.

But the vote on the nearly $1.1 trillion bill is still tentatively scheduled for Saturday, the sources noted.

The sources blamed the potential postponement on GOP delaying tactics. Sharp differences among Democrats over abortion and immigration, however, have raised questions over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi currently has the 218-vote majority needed for passage.

Full coverage: Health care

Republican leaders added to the turmoil Friday morning, seizing on news of spiraling unemployment to warn that new taxes and regulations including in the sweeping reform measure would push the country into an economic abyss.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, prepared for a rare Saturday Capitol Hill visit to twist Democratic arms on what has become a virtual make-or-break issue for his young administration.

Related: Health care wins two big backers

The question of abortion coverage in the health care bill has bedeviled top Democrats for weeks. Under its current language, the measure would allow individuals to purchase policies through a new insurance exchange that would cover abortion procedures. Anti-abortion rights Democrats, led by Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, have argued that provisions designed to prevent tax dollars from being used to directly pay for such services are inadequate.

Stupak is one of up to 40 anti-abortion Democrats reportedly unsatisfied with the language - potentially enough to strip Pelosi of the 218-vote majority needed to pass the bill.

Democratic leaders may turn to compromise language drafted by Rep. Brad Ellsworth, an Indiana Democrat opposed to abortion rights. Ellsworth has proposed using private contractors to pay providers of abortion services - an idea that has come under fire from both supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

At the same time, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus staunchly oppose adding a provision to the bill that would bar undocumented workers from using their own money to buy health insurance policies available through the exchange.

The measure is already included in the Senate Finance Committee's version of the bill, and is backed by the White House. Some conservative House Democrats have also indicated their support for the Senate language.

Pelosi's bill currently includes various requirements for immigrants to verify their citizenship before getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance. Conservatives, however, have called the requirements insufficient.

–CNN's Dana Bash, Lisa Desjardins and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Please stopr censoring...thx S Callahan

    I think it would be wise to wait to Sunday, even longer. There is much to do in getting the language correct. Do it right the first time.
    In addition, the people of faith in this country can go to their churches, and in unity lift this up to God. If it's his will to be it will be, if not it won't.

    November 6, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. all they want is higher taxes, in return you get more POVERTY

    Seems all they are worried about is Government taking over the healthcare system and Cap and Trade [ TAX ]

    JOBS, JOBS, no, no, we would rather take care of you.

    November 6, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Jamie

    DO NOT GIVE UP! The American public and small businesses need health care reform NOW!!!

    November 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Pepou

    The UnAmerican tea baggers hoodlums should be jailed for their action.

    November 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. marion/alabama

    I thought they had added language to keep illegals from getting health insurance under the Government option?but it is not in the bill,I was under the impression the Tax Payer would not be on the hook for Abortions,but it seems we will if this bill passes...There is 460 Billion in new Taxes in this bill and a cut of 500 Billion in Medicare,so what did they promise the AARP leadership to get them on board while selling out the Seniors?

    November 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. John

    EXCELLENT!!!! Delay it until they get a reasonable plan without a public option.

    November 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Dawn

    The delays are beyond ridiculous....are you telling me that Canada, Australia, the UK and France are so much more advanced than the US that we can't even get health insurance reform to pass in this country? The stall tactics are beyond old news, get the job done or we'll be voting for someone who can.

    November 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Walter Petersen

    A delay to the vote that was supposed to sealed up. What could have happened could it have been a rally of people in Washington D.C. oppsed to the healthcare bill on Thursday. No, that couldn't have anything to do with it because CNN didn't even report about it here on their website. Over 20,000 people in Washington and CNN doesn't see the need to report it (and they say other news agencies don't report the news). When a political party has control of the Executive and Legislative branch of the government and they cant agree on a bill that they have enough votes to pass without any help from the other party there must be something very wrong in the legislation. I have always said there is something fishy about how this bill and the cap and trade bill are being shoved down our throats. Usually when someone is trying to push something to fast it is because they are hiding something. So news agencies are supposed to be our detectives and find out what they are hiding and report (unbiased) to us so we can react.

    November 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Partiot885

    Just say NO to OBAMASCARE! {read that "Obama-Scare!" if you like, because every thing this maniac is doing SCARES me and most independent-minded American citizens [with "citizens" emphasized!]
    * We don't need – or WNAT – a government take-over of our medical care under the pretense of providing healthcare to the needy. That could simply be provided by government or community-based free-clinics.
    * I'm telling my Congressmen/women and Senators..and my government: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY HEALTH CARE, and out of my pocket.
    * This move to a socialist/Marxist govermnent is anit-American. Just proves that an "Obama nation" is really an "abomination!"

    November 6, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    I love it when Republicans predict that Obama will lose because things are getting "worse." They are actually not, they are swinging around, and even the unemployment should start falling down soon.

    Remeber what the Clintons ratings were at the end of his second year in office, he trounced Dole two years later.

    Rember what Bush I ratings were 9 months before the election, he got trounced.

    I can see the right wing mokeys going on to the right wing exuse sights to look up the answers right now.

    No excuses, just facts knuckleheads, Obama will be just fine.

    November 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Partiot885

    Just say NO to OBAMASCARE! {read that "Obama-Scare!" if you like, because every thing this maniac is doing SCARES me and most independent-minded American citizens [with "citizens" emphasized!]
    * We don't need – or WANT – a government-imposed take-over of our medical care under the pretense of providing healthcare to the needy. That could simply be provided by government or community-based free-clinics.
    * I'm telling my Congressmen/women and Senators..and my government: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY HEALTH CARE, and out of my pocket.
    * This move to a socialist/Marxist govermnent is anit-American. Just proves that an "Obama nation" is really an "abomination!"

    November 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Tony

    It really does seem like Pelosi has no clue. How many times is she going to say she has the votes and then postpone because she doesn't??? Maybe if this was a good bill it wouldn't be a problem, but it is a terrible bill, way too much money for very little. This is quickly becoming a joke and just grows by the day. In the end, PelosiCare has no chance getting thru the Senate, so why not do something that will help us Americans and stop trying to pave the road to big government and socialism. Listen to the American people, stop with this trash. I back the GOP proposal, atleast they are attacking the real problems tort reform and increased compettion among health insurance providers. 2000 pages, no one has read let alone comprehended and this moron wants a vote ASAP???? Common sense says dump the bill and her ASAP.

    November 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Michael

    To the Party of NO: If you can't contribute something positive and intelligent to the debate-SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

    November 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Fired up yet?

    Pelosi should be arrested for impersonating an American, not the Tea Party Supporters.

    November 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. chubby

    nobama may twist their arms but the voters will send them back home. Those considering voting for the health care takeover would be best served, considering which is worse, an angry nobama or their angry voters.

    November 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. katiec

    I cannot understand or accept anyone who does not realize or admit we desperately need Health Care Reform.
    CNN refused to post the CBO's (a non partisan group) report on the republicans Health care plan. It is a diaster, insuring very few and allowing the insurance companies to continue on with business as usual.
    Our great country cannot allow the continuation of so many dying because they cannot afford health coverage, the thousands upon thousands who have to file bankruptcy due to medical costs and the irresponsible, unethical actions of big business.
    Doesn't it make you wonder why the health care entities are spending billions in campaigning against health care reform??
    Because they want to continue the raping of the American people.

    November 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. seebofubar

    Americans don't want this bill, some sort of healthcare reform is absolutly necessary but not this. Part of this bill relies on the governments ability to clean up medicare fraud. Let's see if they can do that first before proceeding with any other reform.

    November 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. barry g

    The republicans would vote down health care for their own mothers. they don't care about the public, but only their own well being. Let everyone have the same health care that the Senators have. God we couldn't do that! Give health care to the low life!! Shame on anyone related to a republican!!

    November 6, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. typical white person

    You forgot to mention that the House bill also puts in place restrictions to keep state from independently enacting tort reform. A nice, fat payoff to lawyers.

    November 6, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Gary, Los Angeles

    Great job guys! More spending in these economic times? So typical Democratic government! When are you going to stop spending!

    November 6, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. CENSORED.CNN

    Democarts who become part fo the do-nothing congress should beware the ides of November, 2010. They will join the Republicans looking for work. Nomore delayign tactics. For heaven's sake, do the people's work, Congress!

    November 6, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Patrick

    Once again, the issue of illegal immigration rears its ugly head. This is one of the hold over issues from the Bush administration that was handled poorly. Couple of points to consider – this problem goes away when you find & deport illegal aliens immediately; remove the anchor baby problem like Britian – if you're here illegally – your anchor baby gets thrown back over the fence with you. With unemployment over 10% – send 'em back & keep 'em out unless they immigrate legally. In addition – only immigrants that have the necessary & needed job skills shoudl be allowed to immigrate in the first place – we're slowly starting to resembe a banana republic or 3rd world nation

    November 6, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Texas Doc

    Don't let the crybaby party of 'no' hold you back. If there are other Democrats that are willing to overlook that a large majority of Americans want this, then God bless 'em next election. The people want this.

    November 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I say vote on it NOW...and cram it right down the GOP's pie hole.

    November 6, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Marcel

    One way or the other, Democrats need to approve the bill. They should accept Ellsworth language. So what if immigrants use their own money to buy insurance? They would be contributing to the economy.

    November 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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