Abortion is the political hot potato that could derail health care reform entirely.
It caused major disagreements in the House – and the Senate is now wrestling with how to address the issue. Democrat Ben Nelson says he will introduce an anti-abortion amendment... and that he won't vote for the health care bill unless this language gets added.
Nelson and others aren't satisfied with Majority Leader Harry Reid's current plan – that is to forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit – but to allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions and let private insurers that get federal money offer plans that include coverage for abortion.
In the House – a group of anti-abortion Democrats added restrictions that would forbid any health plan that gets federal money from paying for abortions – except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. Also under the House bill, a new government insurance plan couldn't offer abortions – and women would have to buy separate coverage for abortion services.
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