November 6th, 2009
11:48 AM ET
11 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. Willy Brown

    Pelosi and this bill will FAIL!

    November 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. all the news that's fit to omit

    Republicans are not stalling anything, THEY CAN'T.

    This is a group of GOOD Democrats like Stupak and 40 others who are not happy that Pelousy and Obambi LIED about abortion being in the bill.

    THIS has been going on for weeks, but CNN and the others are busy with phony Palin stories to report REAL news, who is the phony news organization Barry?

    They also LIED about illegals getting help in this bill as well.

    What did the Republicans do here?, they had the audacity to REPORT the unemployment numbers going well over 10 %, another LIE from Obambi as he said they wouldn't go over 8 if porkulus was passed.

    Nice job Obambi yesterday giving "shot outs" to his peeps before making any comment on my fellow veterans 2 MINUTES INTO the Press conference who were killed, what a disgrace.

    November 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. JP

    Why is that every version of every bill puts the interests of the trial lawyers 1st and the citizens last. How much less would the cost of this bill be because there is no tort reform. What is the real cost of the bill to taxpayers when all the illegals are made legal under Obama's promise of "a path to citizenship."

    November 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. wait a minute

    The people who are anti- public option are encouraging more abortions by refusing ob/gyn care for these women without coverage. You can't be anti-public option and anti-abortion or its spending simultaneously.

    November 6, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. single mom

    Verify citizenship? Sure, right. Whatever. The same way they removed the question 'Are you a citizen of the United States?' from the questionnaire for the 2010 census.

    November 6, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Margaret

    It's not about the Republicans and the Dems. It's about a country that is broke and hurting. They've cost us our jobs, homes and retirement.

    It couldn't be more obvious that this is all about power. If it wasn't they wouldn't continue to break promises to hold hearings and let the American people know what's in the bill.

    Our government has gone totally mad. And we're supposed to trust them?

    Not on your life.

    November 6, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. no longer a democrat

    If a woman wants to terminate her preganancy, SHE has to pay for it.

    This is insanity....

    November 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is only fair and reasonable that ILLEGAL immigrants NOT benefit from a gov't subsidized insurance plan. They should however feel free to purchase insurance from ANY insurance provider, as they have been doing under the radar for decades. The gov't option is just that: on option to purchase insurance from another source that due to the number of participants, and gov't subsidies would be able to offer lower premiums. I think that anyone that is hereILLEGALLY from China, Europe, Africa, Canada or Latin countries would agree with this. The Hispanic Caucus is not Amnesty International, it should be concerning itself with the causes of immigrants who are here legally.

    November 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Gene

    Speaker Pelosi,

    No means no.

    November 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. bmw

    Democratic leaders should be stressing that a Public Option health insurance plan will likely reduce unemployment because employers will be more willing to start hiring again if they don't have to pay for employee health insurance. Employers also won't have to worry about hiring people with pre-existing conditions whose premiums would be higher.

    November 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Voting for this immense waste of money would be just a little shy of criminally irresponsible, if only because the country just can't afford it.

    November 6, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Danny

    Of course the Republicans have said that about every minimum wage bump, environmental regulation, tax increase, and government program that helps anyone other than the super wealthy for decades. An ecomomic abyss? What are we in now? It seems that the huge tax decrease on the top 10% of income earners, the repeal of or exemption from most environmental laws, and almost total deregulation of businesses hasn't lad to the humongous income and job creation gains that were promised by the GOP, so their predictions are kind of suspect.

    November 6, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Congress would be wise to start this process over again with a more reasonable approach that simply:

    1. Permits insurance company's to sell nationwide.
    2. Bars any pre-existing conditions.
    3. Addresses tort reform.
    4. Allows voluntary participation.

    Kill the Bill in its Current Form . . . 1,900+ pages

    How Ridiculous Can Congress Get?

    November 6, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. A concern citizen

    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.

    November 6, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. chas

    This bill is garbage on many levels. What is largely missed however, is the devastating impact on samll business and ultimate impact on our economy. Tens of thousands of businesses will go under, given the absurd "employer mandate" that is in the bill. When those businesses fail, those jobs will disappear. As is the usual style for the democrats, they fail to adequately analyze a problem or the consequences of their actions.

    Put the brakes on this current monstrosity and start over DC!

    November 6, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Kat

    Hey idiots in Washington... We don't want your plan. Times are bad enough already. Scrap it and come up with a better, less expensive plan. Get the message. This will only make unemployment go higher. As a small business owner, we would be forced to cut our staff. Pelosi, maybe you should consider having a little botox added to your brain, If you have one.

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

    1 Trillion more spending (1,000,000,000,000-–) I don't know how many zeroes there is in a trillion. Our family simply lost our savings because of unemployment. Wow! the government must be soooo rich to spend this much money. 7.3 milions unemployed with 5 millions in >6 months unemployment and a rate of 10.2% and is going up higher this winter. Can Obama's administration slow down spending the money of this country which comes from poor citizens of this country (which has no voices compared to Pelosi and Reid and Obama). Enough! Enough! You promist to sign the stimulus quick without reading because of job unemployment problem. How can I trust you with the Trilion when you can't even manage the Billions? God forgive the Democrats who brings us in to too much debt - I thought they'd be better than previous administration. But even worst spendind and borrowing money. Our future and our freedom to live a good and healthy life is over if this type of liberal government continues.

    November 6, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Mickey

    Vote NOW, and cram it right down the GOP's pie hole.

    November 6, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Alaskan

    Where's the news story about the CBO's analysis of the Boehner plan? You know, the one that will leave the same number of non-elderly americans uninsured, and bring health care costs down by a whopping 0-3%?

    November 6, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. STILL unemployed in Iowa

    jobs, economy, Obama and Pelosi LIE.

    Impeach Obama, Vote Out Pelosi.NOW!

    November 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Short answer... no. Do your bloody jobs. No more political maneuvering around. Just get the job done.

    November 6, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Leroy

    Can I have the same health insurance they get? (they=liers=politicians) Or better yet lets make them use what they want to give to us and then see how fast they fix it to run the correct way.

    November 6, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Brenda

    Any politician who votes for this nightmare Bill-–will pay for it in the 2010 elections.

    Any politician who supports the Cap and Tax Energy Bill--will pay for it in the 2010 elections!!!

    November 6, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Sarah

    Rep. Ben Chandler best stand with his party on this vote; if he does not, he may as well run for re-election as a Republican next time out.

    November 6, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Proud to be a Liberal American

    Grow up, Republicans!

    When will the GOP learn patriotism?

    November 6, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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