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

House health care vote may be delayed, sources say

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. The Dude

    You are actually dumb enough to believe that their profit margins were only 3.4%? Let me guess, you are a birther who also thinks that smoking is healthy because the Tobacco Institute says so.

    November 6, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Hannibal Lector

    Please someone get this Woman out of public service.

    November 6, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Michael

    It amazes me to read all these lunatic right-wing-nuts comments. They forget how we got in this mess? It was THEIR party, THEIR administration and THEIR President! Ten months into a new program and their spokespeople like rush and the dick spread their diseased propaganda and so many tea (drinkers) baggers just fall in line. This Country is worth saving-so conservatives need to put up or shut up!

    November 6, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. randak

    Any thoughtful person would agree that a democracy which is a welfare state and an immigration state cannot survive.

    November 6, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    Obama and the democrat leaders are a bunch of lunatics. Many of the reasonable democrats know this bill is a disaster and they know that if they vote for it they are done. They have the numbers to pass it themselves...stop trying to blame the republicans.

    Wake up these lunatics out of office and take our country back.

    November 6, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Darko

    The bill is dead...always was.

    November 6, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Eric in Denver

    @The dude do some reasearch if you have time from your busy schedule. As a public company they have to provide all docs to shareholders and to the street. These numbers can't be fudged because they are scrutinized by all the Obama hired people so it is not a right wing number. It is easy to make an ignorant comment but unless you look up the facts you are irrelevant. The daily kos isn't the only website available. Some liberals are so ignorant and lazy that they can't reseached facts. Let me help you go to google and you will probably get 1000 similar health care numbers

    November 6, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Hud

    Do nothing President, Do nothing Congress...Do NOTHING party!

    November 6, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. tickertape

    I'm not a right wing nut, this health care bill just keeps getting bigger every day!

    November 6, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Vic

    Isn't funny that the Dems and their followers say it was Bush's fault for the economy and the resulting mess we are in,But who had control of the House for the last 2yrs plus...DEMS!! Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who are on the Finance commitee who oversee the banks and stock markets let all this happen.They should be the ones who need to be removed and jailed for turning a blind eye so they could enrichen themselves and cronies.Since Obama is in power they get a free pass.They're weasels and need to be voted out...
    ......... WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT'S TO LATE!!!!!........

    November 6, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. randak

    I prefer to read the philosophical comments in these internet forums because when in a philosophical discussion the clarity is better and it is much harder to lie. Posturing and name calling are for people without the facts. Philosophy clearly displays the choice and consequence.

    November 6, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. IEK

    I don't think people have a problem with the Insurance companies making profits. They have a problem with them making profits by letting their customers die. Google and Pepsi don't make their money off the health of their customers. To me that's a big difference, but I suppose profit is profit, right?

    marion/alabama – There's some obvious confusion in what you're posting. 1) illegals already cannot use the Public Option, the issue is whether or not they can purchase private insurance through the Exchange. 2) Similarly, the abortion issue is whether or not plans which cover abortions will be allowed in the Exchange, 3) Cutting Medicare SPENDING is different than cutting Medicare COVERAGE. People (especially on the right) have complained for a long time about the inefficiencies of Medicare. Now that Democrats are trying to do something about it, it's bad?

    November 6, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Me

    Marie Florida – I am very sorry that you have had to go through the health issues that you stated, but I believe that there is a better way to handle the health care issue. Why can't congress just make it mandatory in a bill that insurance companies not exclude you or drop you beacause of a preexisting condition? Instead of forcing all Americans on a plan? Who is to say that we will be able to afford the payments under a government plan. How many people can afford to pay the IRS?

    November 6, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Beverly in NC

    ANY Democrat who votes against healthcare reform with the full public option will find themselves out of a job come next November. The MAJORITY of Americans believe the public option is critical for the success of real reform. It is – the insurance companies will not stop abusing us with solid competition to make them lower prices, pay claims as they should, give us the treatment our doctors recommend and actually treat us like human beings instead of drags on their profit margin.


    November 6, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Barbara -

    straight out of Alice in Wonderland.... – Mad Hatter Newt and Cheshire Cat Cheney are getting curiouser and curiouser. Up is down and down is up..... whenever they see fit.

    November 6, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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