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. Terry from West Texas

    I guess it's time to add the phrase "timid as a Democrat" to our slang dictionary. It seems to be fitting. Teddy Roosevelt once said of a judge he disliked, "I could carve more backbone out of a banana."

    Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson would have passed the health bill, the cap and trade bill, and many other bills by this time. We can only hope that destiny will bring us the leadership we need in Congress. At this point, I would say that this is the most undistinguished and inconsequential Congress since Will Rogers said, "People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."

    November 6, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Tony

    headless: November 6th, 2009 12:46 pm ET

    "I have deal for ya. If you dont like healthcare reform then please either you or your parents or both, remove yourself from medicare."

    Another stupid point from an uneducated lib. We, those of us who work, pay into that system every week. We, those who work, don't want to pay more for others to have "free heatlthcare". So your point is not only stupid it shows you have no clue what is really going on. Government is not supposed to be demanding anything of the citizens. Even if this nightmare somehow gets passed, it will be shot down as it is unconstitutional. That's assuming it doesnt get repealed before being overturned. 2010 and 2012 will be a lib bloodbath at the polls. Americans do not want socialism and we definitely don't want the party of NO..CLUE (dems) to spend us into obilvion. Judegment time is coming. This bill has no chance to pass the Senate anyway, so I am hoping it gets filibustered to death. Then maybe we can address the REAL problem in some 100 page bills that take on one problem at a time. WHOA!!!! That makes way too much sense, and doesn't lead to socialism in the US, so th Dems won't want any part of common sense.

    November 6, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. HJA

    "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."

    We are already in an economic abyss.......The one the Republicans put us in with their stupidity. I wish they would just go away. I cannot understand why anyone would vote for these idiots.

    November 6, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Larry

    Are you willing to sink the ENTIRE ship for your small piece of the pie or take the noble step and compromise for the greater good? I hope somewhere in their collective minds, those members of Congress that are being obstacles vice facilitators have a little voice in their heads asking that question. We all know change is needed and although this bill is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. If the Republican idiocy wants no part of it, FINE!! We'll see in a few years when things are looking good and there is nothing but silence from that side of the aisle. As for everybody else, STOP THE BICKERING AND GET IT DONE!!

    November 6, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Kansasan without health

    The Republicans had a chance in recent years to pass the fixes to the health care system they now claim to support. They did nothing. It is time to pass the existing bills. NO MORE DELAYS.

    November 6, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Tony

    "The Independents I know are already planning to vote against anyone who opposes this bill."

    Funny, the independents in the election this week overwhelmingly voted Republican. And against Obama's agenda. So the independents you know are not really independents they are liberals calling themselves independents. Trust me.

    November 6, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. mjm

    Headless November 6th, 2009 12:46 pm ET

    I have deal for ya. If you dont like healthcare reform then please either you or your parents or both, remove yourself from medicare.
    ____________

    Medicare? You mean that broke public option for seniors that Hoyer said was unsustainable in 10 years?

    I think you have reform confused with the public option. Everyone wants reform, no one wants the public option.

    My father has Medicare Advantage. He will lose it if HR 3200 is passed. My mother has Medicare, which will not last past 10 years.

    I don't have to take them off anything...They will lose it all by themselves thanks to Obama.

    November 6, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. ron

    Finally looking like we are going to get meaningful HCR in America! Well done Sen. Pelosi and Co!

    November 6, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Paul Simon

    Slip sliding away! Slip sliding a-waaayyy!

    November 6, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Will in Carson City

    Maybe they realized that they added a clause in the bill that mandates a 6-month uninsured period before being able to apply for the "public option". Don't believe me? Read the bill. It's in there.

    November 6, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Chris from NC

    Come on, Democrats!!!! GROW A SPINE!!!! Unless you get this health care vote out of the way and focus on putting the unemployed back to work, you will lose the midterms big time. Stop pandering to the GOP, hoping that just maybe one of them will vote for the bill. Wake up and smell the coffee!!! They've already made up their minds. They want the President's agenda to fail even if America fails.

    November 6, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Oz

    She's determined to take the country down the tubes.

    November 6, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Perry Winkle

    How do the Democrats propose we pay for this $1.3 Trillion (current cost of the House bill) with everyone either out of work, going to be out of work, or under-employed?

    November 6, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. ron

    For all the uninformed, our nation's military budget for 2010 is over $500 billion. Over ten years thats $5 trillion. I think if we can afford $5 trillion for protecting American interests around the world we can afford 1/5 of that for healthcare for our citizens here at home.

    November 6, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. File under "Sarcasm"

    They better think about delaying it if they value their jobs. Unemployment has reached 10.2% and they want to pass a $1 trillion plus healthcare package that will kill jobs rather than create them. If you believe the fairy tale that this will reduce healthcare costs, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

    November 6, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Obama Enemy List Wannabe

    Any representative that votes for this will out of a job in 2010. Let's see, unemployment – only over 10% – let's spend a trillion we don't have.... and, oh, its 'Affordable (not)' because the cost calculation is only for the first ten years! What is the true cost? Are they planning to cancel the program in 2019?

    November 6, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Kathy Robbins

    Those who believe that the 2010 elections will reverse the political majority in Congress are liable to be in for a big surprise. There is an intelligent majority of Americans who are witnessing a Congress that acts for the will of the majority of We the People for the first time in over a decade. We sent our message loud and clear in November of 2008 and we will do the same in 2010.

    November 6, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Cheers

    That $800 billion dollar Stimulus bill worked out very well. What could possibly go wrong with a trillion dollar heatlh care reform bill?

    November 6, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Obama 2012

    Now is the time for the 63 million voters to march on Washington. It time to get HCR for all.

    November 6, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. v

    I think you are all forgetting who got us into this mess. This did not start on 1/20/09.

    Who was in charge for the last eight years REPUBLICANS! But the Republicans won't take the blame for any of this mess; instead they want to give us more of what they gave us for the last 8 years.

    I for one would pay more in taxes; give up some of my income to make sure that everyone in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA could go to the doctor and get good health care.

    From reading the blogs above, most of you are from the group of people in this generation that think of nobody but yourself (you are the ME generation) stop thinking of just yourself for once in your life.

    You are blaming an administration that has been in the office for only 10 months and you think that Mr. Obama can fix everything the Republicans screwed up in a blink of an eye. GET REAL all this undoing what the REPUBLICANS did to make this mess is going to take awhile.

    If I had a Trillion Dollars I would make sure that any congressman or senator that voted against the Health Bill and Climate Change Bill be voted out of office.

    If you are unemployed then you need to go to work for any job that you can get, even if it is in food service or picking fruit or vegitables. Most of you think you are to good to work for less than you have previously worked for. Guess what, you are not any better than the next person and if you really wanted to help then you would stop whining and get off you butt and get busy trying to do your best.

    If you really wanted to do something great then you would work toward paying off all credit cards (so the people on Wall Street will not get anymore of your money) Stop charging! Get the picture.

    November 6, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. maurice nickless

    Don't the Democrats have a majority in both the house and senate? Why then, are they blaming Republicans for stall tactics? Sounds to me like the dems aren't as united as some would like you to believe, unless you are talking about pointing fingers of blame. If you have the majority, and, as in the case of the senate, a filibuster proof majority, take ownership of your stupidity Democrats and ram this legislation down the throats of America and it's citizens. Then, sign up for the exact same healthcare you are trying to mandate is good for all Americans. I doubt that anyone in either house will be rushing to sign up for any of this.

    November 6, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Bob in Pa

    Screw the delayed – Bury it !

    November 6, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Tom in Delaware

    Ya'don't say?

    Pelosi lying about being ready for a vote?

    Reid lying about being ready fot a vote?

    It can't be...not them.

    November 6, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Matt

    Public option or bust.
    Vote for it now.

    November 6, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Voted4HealthCare

    Keep up the good work, Congress, and pass health care with a majority-supported public option.

    On a side note, it seems curious MSM is not covering Minority "Leader" Boehner's glaring mistake of not knowing the difference between the Declaration Of Independence and our US Cobstitution.

    If Speaker Pelosi had made the same error, it would seem to be on 24/7 cycle from the media.

    Also, where is the story about the CBO analysis of my xGOP's "health plan" that would cover 12 times LESS Americans while costing $36 BILLION MORE?

    November 6, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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