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. Tex

    Again I see many people in here opposed to their own best interests. Not even shocking anymore to me. These same people also think they're somehow 'enlightened' by thinking that politicians who support it will 'suffer' in the 2010 elections over a policy that 60%+ of the US population supports. Real smart.

    November 6, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Jared

    The issue about govt funded abortions in this bill are crazy. You have all of these people who don't want it in there, but republicans refuse to negotiate. They have NO plans to vote for this regardless of whether the part about abortions and illegal immigrants is included. And that's why it's still in the bill.

    November 6, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Susan

    Kill the bill, it is too expensive and doesn't do anything to improve healthcare.

    November 6, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. southern cousin

    Don't you just love the part where they are saying it is being delayed because of Republican delaying tactics. More lies. The republicans cannot stop anything, They have an unstoppable majority. The liberals think the American people are stupid and the can lie with impunity just like they always have. There will be no liberals left after the 2010 election and Obama, one and done.

    November 6, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Tim

    Pepou are you an American?? You ned to de deported sooner rather than later or read your history books!! This country was founded on TEA BAGS!! Over a tax!!! Now look at us?? Your calling them tea baggers hoodlums?? Do you know how many tea baggers in the history of this country sacrificed their lives so you could say some thing stupid on an CNN blog??

    November 6, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. g

    do all republicans have employer payed health care, better read the fine print you might not have the coverage you think you do

    November 6, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Trang

    Times are tough. I am fine either way. We can reform with the understanding that it will costs us in exchange for a nation that has health care for everyone of its citizens. An ideal that would be good to live up to and feel good about ourselves. On the other hand, we are so cash strapped, and if we scrap this, we also have to say no to those who don't have health insurance. It's mean, but it also saves the country money. But the way it is now, it's just irresponsible – we continue to treat, but unwilling to pay, and keep this country in further debt. It's just like a country running on credit cards. So, what kind of a country is this? What makes this more frustrating is insurance companies having obscene profits. It's one thing when they don't cover us because they can't afford to, It's another thing when they have obscene profits from our premiums, then when things get tough, they turn us down.

    November 6, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Scott

    The problem with anonymous postings is we have no idea how many are by 10-year-olds.

    November 6, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. NYCitizen

    We know Medicare/Medicaid is affected in this bill, but my question is How will this affect Workers Compensation, if at all? I believe that we would have more competent doctors accepting Medicare/Medicaid and Workers Compensation if they would pay more out to the doctors and let them practice medicine when and where needed. I also believe tort reform is an essential part of health care reform. I believe that it is us working class stiffs that are going to foot the don't get anything for nothing. Where else is this trillion or so going to come from? China? I don't think so!

    November 6, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Kim

    how much would you want to bet that half of these republicans calling for tort reform don't know what a tort is or what tort reform would do? Placing a cap on how much a person can receive in a lawsuit against a doctor will not lower our health insurance premiums. it may, however, lower the premiums doctors and other medical professionals must pay for their malpractice insurance.

    Get a clue people, Glenn Beck and all those over at Fox are lying to you. A public option is just what it sounds like an OPTION. Kind of like you can send your package via the government run postal service or you can send it UPS or you can drink your tap water or buy the bottled water. This is not rocket Science.

    November 6, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. terry,va

    10.2% unemployment. Enough said.

    November 6, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Chris - Denver

    No more delays! Time is fleeting! Carpe Diem!

    November 6, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Jack Fl

    What is this? Some Dems have concerns about a bill and the leadership is taking time to address those concerns. Is there something to take note of here? There really is a difference in Dems and Repubs other than their respective platforms.

    November 6, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. AndrewCPA

    "Party leaders fear if House members are given more time to consider bill new issues could arise"

    So they do not want members to read this bill before they vote, just vote on it. That type of thinking makes me think they are hiding things in this bill since it will not be posted and most members will not have to read 1900 plus pages. I agree something needs to be done to fix the health care issue, but not like this, not 1900 pages that no one has read, not adding $1T to the budget, not increaseing taxes, and not being forced on us like this. Take time to fix the issues. study where the problems are and work with the health care sector to develop solutions to the problems.

    I am sure most members on the Hill do not fully understand health care and they are not the ones that should force a fix.

    November 6, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. george from alaska

    health care smealth care. this is a non issue. tea party can have your goose stepping insurance company run health care if you want...let the rest of us alone or get our feet shoved so far up your ignorant rear ends you'll be singing dixie backwards while you try makin love to your 1st cousins.

    by the way, lower 48...palin is not a good ole gal, goody goody, friendly, aw shucks, i love ya'll "rougue". she is a lying, backstabbing, steaming pile of dog excrement that would sell you out faster than you can say sieg heil!

    November 6, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Kim

    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.

    You are showing your ignorance. No pregnant woman in this country is denied OB coverage. Any public hospital in this country will give you monthly visits and a mid wife for delivery if you have no complications, and an OB if you do. That is a fact. I have had two friends who didn't have insurance and got all the same tests that I did. One delivered with a OB, the other with a mid wife.

    Our healthcare system is in need of reform, but stop making it sound like pregnant woman are not receiving care. If they are not getting care, they are choosing not to.

    November 6, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. harold

    Maybe all the Republicans who oppose government run Health Insurance should give up their own government run Health Insurance and repreal all the Medicare and Veteran Health Insurance since its govenrment run.....Huh ?..Republicans?

    November 6, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Idiot_Pelosi

    This is nothing but a SOCIALIST bill. Those who are responsible and are working (or have worked) hard had to pay more in TAXES and premiums to pay for others.

    This is nothing but a liberal bunch of crap where we are all supposed to pay for other's healthcare, including abortions, including illegals.

    I've got a great idea after reading some of the pro-HC comments here, you want it, you pay for it!!!! We'll increase YOUR TAXES and YOUR FEES to pay for all of this.

    And you are just jealous of the TEA PARTY protestors because they want to keep their money. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

    I for one will CHEAT on my taxes because I absolutely refuse to pay for this crap.

    Increasing the DEFICIT
    Increasing UnEMPLOYMENT

    Yeah, some change, change for the WORSE !!!!

    November 6, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Fired up yet?

    To Michael above. Really, "sit down and shut up." That is or should be the Democratic Party slogan, because that is exactly what Pelosi wants. If Pelosi and this WH have nothing to hide and if they are not lying to us, why is everything they are doing on this health care bill being done behind closed doors. Okay they don't want the Republicans in there, but what did we, the American people do to them? Don't we have an absolute right to be there? This woman's only agenda is to attempt to put the American people in their place. She is more interested in the "power" that she yields, not us. Health care is a good thing, but not Pelosi's way.

    November 6, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. nevada39


    Obama did not cause the economic crisis, health care change is needed, do it now or it will stall forever.

    TireRd of the left and right wing nuts always blaming the other side..


    November 6, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Steve Illinois

    The AARP has endorsed the House bill.
    The House bill cuts $500 million from Medicare.
    The AArp recieves 50% of it's revenue selling Medicare supplements.

    Coincidence? You decide!

    Common sense = follow the money!

    November 6, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. The nazis had 'Mein Kampf', the wingnuts have 'Going Rogue

    It is time for congress to approve this for the majority of Americans, and let the wingnuts know that fear and corporate greed are no longer the driving force in their un-American activities.

    November 6, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Jack Fl

    PS. Is Pelosis head really that much bigger than everyone elses that it barely fits in the lens?

    November 6, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. mjm

    They need to slow this down based on price alone.

    One day it's $894 Billion, next it's 1.2 trillion? We didn't have 894 billion to spend in the first place.

    I heard Hoyer this morning say that Medicare is unsustainable in 10 years.

    So why the #@$% are they pushing a public option that works just like Medicare?

    Private insurance isn't going broke...Medicare is.

    Democrats want to copy failure, not success......Obama is Carter.

    November 6, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Fitz in Texas

    Want to get voted for this and you will.

    November 6, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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