November 6th, 2009
11:48 AM ET
10 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. jj123

    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.
    Problem with that is people want to keep medicare because most have paid into it for many years.

    November 6, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. linda

    What is it that those opposed to health care reform do not understand?

    We, as taxpayers, are currently paying for emergency room care for
    illegal immigrants, those who do not work, and those who we also
    support through welfare checks, section 8 housing, food stamps,
    education, etc., etc.

    The cost of a non-insured person, whether legal or not, is huge:

    rescue squad, emergency room costs, hospital stays, etc.

    Health care reform will provide doctors for these people, and
    should reduce current costs by not calling rescue for a sneeze
    or sore finger to take them to the ER.

    If you do not pay for anything, why would you care about the costs
    taxpayers provide?

    Reducing costs to taxpayers is what health care reform is all

    November 6, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. valerie jacksonville, fl.

    how many more sick people have to die every day, before you make up your mine.

    November 6, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. jj123

    A concern citizen November 6th, 2009 12:25 pm ET

    Why Are you delaying this????Just Basic Health care insurance for every American people! How Hard is is to vote on that?? Please, give us a single payer option vote, Period!! America what have you become??? Stop listening special interest folks.
    Except if you want to change to the govt option you have to be without insurance for six months.

    November 6, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Lotta Muni

    Ha ha. When they want to soft sell, it's "healthcare reform" when they want to hardsell it's "healthcare overhaul". Either way, the taxpayer is going to be soaked. There's no discussion here on the REAL issues, how to bring down healthcare or prescription costs. That's why a US single payer system will not work, it will be bankrupt in no time.

    November 6, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. bobo

    The Demowits have full control of house and senate...
    The problem isn't with the party of NO.
    The problem is with Demowits.

    November 6, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Charlie

    To everyone who is complaining about the profits by insurance companies. If you were to actually look at their balance sheets and income statements their profit margin was only 3.4% last year. If you crying about 3.4% profit margins go yell at google where they had 20.6% profit margins or the beverage industry that had 25.9% profit margins. If the liberals are all about fairness why are they not yelling about every other company or industry that is making a profit. The foundation of a capitalist society is making a profit, when i see and hear liberals complaining about profits then i have to conclude they are not a fan of capitalism and would prefer socialism.

    November 6, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. tee

    To all the ignorant repugs complaining about jobs.......take your teabagger friends in front of all these corporations benefiting from the Bush tax cuts.....while they send your your jobs overseas.....and scream your ruining the country man.......your turning us into a third world country.......your creating an economic abyss.....when you finish there....go to the top 1%....who are also benefiting from the Bush tax breaks.....and beg for a job any job or a hand out......stop complaining become proactive....President Obama did not get us in this mess....but hes working very hard to get us out.....he will reform will suceed.....America will suceed

    November 6, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Joe

    What really sticks in my craw is, the same money we pay for premiums is being used by the insurance industry to pay the lobbiest that fund the legistlators to delay health reform. The only way to get reimbursed is to expose those legislators that don't support health care reform and stiff them at the ballot box.

    November 6, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. erika morgan

    Our businesses are currently attempting to compete with businesses globally who are not responsible for health care for their employees, but whose employees are covered completely. American business is losing out because of this state of affairs.

    Money is like electricity in that it only has value and force if it circulates from hand to hand, that is why we are in such a pickle with 95% of the money in the hands of a few. Greed has ruined our economy to the point where there is no more money for the greedy to take in. (By the way this is why the bank bailouts are a failure.)

    Our children need to be asked to make the down payment on the national debt with a two year conscripted national service after high-school graduation. Their labor can be used to bring down the cash outlay of all sorts of health care, education, local government and even some business entry level jobs; and can be paid for with education credit for themselves. (Read up on what the CCC camps did for America and the prosperity of the fifties and sixties in this country.)

    Try and imagine what is currently the total bill for the "for profit" health care that we currently have including all the employer, employee portion, co-pays and unfunded necessary care for the whole nation; and understand that a "not for profit" must be cheaper. Note that insurance executives are operating under the greed formula of Wall Streeters, extracting high pay, enormous bonuses, stock options and huge political and advertising campaigns to retain the status quo.

    Know that if you have a fancy new imaging machine that cost a whole lot of dollars, the cost of the mortgage on that machine will be amortized over the number of uses it gets, but the money will be due at thirty day intervals, not by the use. What the individual use of the machine is charged reflects the monthly payment divided by the expected number of uses, more uses do not really accurately reflect increased financial liability for the users.

    Really sick folks do not have an ability to earn money to pay for their healthcare as they are precluded from working. The presents of sick and dying in our public areas are a security breach for our homeland and the population generally.

    This is a few of the reasons we must have real Health Care reform and a new public delivery system for that health care. The great party of NO and a few Blue Dogs are desperate to protect their funding sources at the expense and against the wishes of 60% and climbing, of the work force of America, they have forgotten who they work for but the voters will remember how they voted.

    November 6, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    The very last thing we need is the government taking over healthcare which is 17% of the economy. That added to the 30% they already control, is approaching 50% being government controlled. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    November 6, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. kas

    Ol'Stretch Pelosi looks like she needs a new "tightening up" procedure. Wonder if it is covered under "the plan".

    November 6, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Eric in Denver

    GI Joe has lost his mind. Barack thinks that you are making this up.

    November 6, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Michael

    Here's the deal, Obama's going to get what he wants one way or the other. Look at the Video on him for the 7 lies, he said them and he's not going to do a thing to change matters. Its all about Money and Lie's

    Lie after lie after lie, I really hope and pray that the Dem's loose control and that the Republicans get there act together.

    Since Obama wants change, I want Change. NO MORE Democrat or Republican parties. Lobbyists are thrown out and the homeless and unemployed move into there office space's and make the best of it.

    Laugh all you want but I have a way to take care and house all the homeless and especially the veterans. With all the liars and kick backs, thered be more than enough money to take care of people.

    And Botox would be outlawed in California along with aging politicians that rose to power through lies and cheating and back stabbing others.

    November 6, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |

    PLEASE warn me before putting up such scary pictures in the future.

    November 6, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Jim

    Where is the transparency? Where is the debate? Obama failing yet another promise. Blame the Republicans when you have the majority in both houses.1900+ pages of garbage. It also includeds a 6 MONTH waiting period for people to get the public option if you are high risk. So if you have a serious illness, you have to fend for yourself for at least 6 months. Great Bill. Just shows they don't want real reform, just all the control.

    November 6, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. tee

    and another thing.....I am so sick of all these.....I can perdict the future rethugs.....are they all graduates of the university of Miss Cleo.....they have been wrong so many lose count.....their ignorance is amazing.

    November 6, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Dar

    Of course they wont vote yet, she doesnt have enough idiots to pass this peice of junk yet. Clean it up and then we will all tell our congress to vote yes. Untill then you vote for it and your fired next term

    November 6, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. shmeckel

    Did every get to read this line in the CBO's report "The total cost of mandates to the private sector, as estimated by CBO and JCT, would
    greatly exceed the threshold established by that act for private entities".

    Well if you missed that part did you see the graph that showed the estimate included 168 billion dollars in penalties (33 billion for private citizens and 135 billion for private companies?)

    But you guys knew all that because no one in this blog is dumb enough to listen to a politician, and will always read the stuff their selves.

    November 6, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Joe M

    Pelosi and Sarah make a very good lesbo kuple!!

    November 6, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Susan L

    OMG, look at her nostrils!!!

    Sarah Palin and Pelosi seem to make a very good Lesbo couple!!

    November 6, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. alan n san diego ca

    Republicans scarier than terrorists. The Republicans seem to have no shame, are out right lairs to your face, do not care about any body but themselves, represent the moneyed interests, and not the people.

    Republicans believe in Our two Wars over your own Health. Congress allowing government to deregulate the financial industry caused Our Economy to come apart and then they act surprised; even though the laws they took away where design to protect Our Economy in the first place. (The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 )

    The government needs to govern. The Democrats need to get backbone, as they are running the government they need to lead, else we have little hope for improvement in Our government.

    November 6, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. G SMITH

    The Democratic Party is DEAD. Long live the Republicans. Unemployment is getting worse evey month this President of Change has been in office. The ONLY change you are getting is a pink slip. There will be no OBAMACARE which is good news for everone.

    November 6, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Rog

    1% of the taxpayers pay 40% of the tax in this country
    10% of the taxpayers pay 70% of the taxes in this country
    50% of those "eligible" to pay taxes pay "0" taxes in this country
    Our country has turned into "the land of entitlements" In Ca. the "people" voted in on a bullet train. For too many it's easy to look at a bill, realize that they will not have to pay anything for it, and vote yes.
    "gee...a bullet train sounds like a really good idea..."
    In that i do not fall in the top 10%, I'm tired of paying more then my fair share of taxes only to see my taxes go up because "Congress" and this "Administration" has decided to ram a bill down my throat because they think that they need to add this "entitlement" to our country's debt.
    We are on the vurge of complete financial disaster...escalading unemployment, devaluation of the U.S. dollar, National debt WAY at 12.5 trillion with another 5 trillion being added on ( we take on 1.3 trillion in taxes a year TOTAL people!!!) unfunded liabilities for social security AND medicare of 78 trillion (for those of you who are touting the success of Medicare) forget what party affiliation you are. These are the facts as I have found and it scares the h*** out of me!!! Fix our economy FIRST!!! Pay attention the deficit FIRST!!! I'm tired.....SO tired!!!

    November 6, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Brian from NJ

    Why do some in the media and on the left call pro-lifers "anti-abortion" and not call pro-choicers "pro-abortion"? Hmmmmm

    What part of the election results from Tuesday did Pelosi not get... every exit poll clearly stated "It's about the economy"... NOT "It's about a public option". She better start practicing the proper technique for handing over a gavel, be it to a Republican or Democrat, because her days as Speaker are definitely numbered...

    November 6, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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