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. The nazis had 'Mein Kampf', the wingnuts have 'Going Rogue

    The 'real shame' was that we were all forced to support an unnecessary war in Iraq.

    November 6, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Fired up yet?

    The Tea Party, I believe is not against health care reform, but rather the cost of this reform to the American people. I live in Maryland. The lowest health care package here is $510.00 a month, and this is for an individual, not a family. This is government-run state insurance for those who cannot get insurance otherwise. If you agree with Pelosi's bill, why aren't you asking her, what it is going to cost you each month to have this insurance? If you did, and if you got an answer, I bet you would be surprised.

    November 6, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Erik S.

    GOP delaying tactics nothing it's the Sharp differences among Democrats over abortion and immigration that are holding this up, stop blaming everyone else for Dems inability to come together.

    November 6, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Kim

    In addition, the bill would preempt state and local laws that conflict with or are in addition to new federal standards established by the bill. Those preemptions would limit the application of state and local laws, but CBO estimates that they would not impose significant costs.

    As conditions of federal assistance (and thus not mandates as defined in UMRA), the bill also would require state and local governments to offer health insurance to their employees and would require “maintenance of effort” payments associated with high-risk pools. New requirements in the Medicaid program also would result in an increase in state spending.

    page 9 of the CBO estimate

    Can you say unconsitutional?

    November 6, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Joe

    How about investing that 1 trillion into jobs...?

    November 6, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Brian from NJ

    Funny how you need to "read more of the story" to see that it is not the Republicans stopping this but "Pro-Life" Democrats (nice try with the play on words by calling them "Anti-Abortion"...)

    Pelosi should start practicing how to hand over the gavel because, barring a miraculous recovery in the employment situation, either a Republican or another Democrat will become Speaker next year.

    November 6, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Flipper

    What happened to Pelosi's promise to post her monstrous 1,990 page health bill (that few Dem Congressman will read) on the Internet so that the press & regular Americans can view it? Uh, what happened to the Dem campaign motto of "transparency?"

    Oh yeah, they abandoned that long-before before Obama was sworn in.

    Does anyone else feel that Congress is run by a bunch on insincere, inept morons?

    November 6, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Maybe .... Maybe...... Mr. NoObama, you should take a cue from GOP on how to create jobs!! Talk to them – they have plenty of ideas... some I know are these Organizations:::

    1) Tea Party Express
    2) Freedom Rarely works
    3) Sammy Sandwiches

    These are "decent" paying jobs and I get a big list of unemployed people everyday who just care about the money they get from participation – the issue being debated is "rightfully" left to us – they don't care and they shouldn't either!!

    Vote For Romney

    November 6, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Kim

    Not that you hear this in the news, but according the CBO estimate, 6 million people will lose employer based coverage by the year 2019. What happened to keeping the coverage we want?

    November 6, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Idiot_Pelosi

    Let PELOSI fund a FREE Public HC option by cutting out her BOTOX treatments........

    Maybe OBUMMER can do a little dance at a fund raiser to pay for this crap......

    VOTE NO!!!!!

    Come up with a practical plan, not this socialist, welfare bill.

    November 6, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    I definitely think we need health care reform! But the gov't taking over is not always the answer to everything. Take on one issue at a time..pre-existing conditions...fix that problem then move to the next.

    Those that are demanding a public option be done immediately or else are just as idiotic as those people who say no to health care reform at all.

    (just a thought...some people can afford health care if they...maybe you should get off the internet, sell your computer, get rid of your cell phone, cut off your cable, quit buying the beer and cigarettes, or go to the emergency room for care...they CAN'T deny anyone) just a thought....but thats silly talk...give it to me FREE!!

    November 6, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Johny

    So it's the republicans' fault the bill is being delayed. Oh wait, the dems have control of the house and senate. Well maybe it's Bush's fault then. Oh wait, he is no longer in office. Maybe, just maybe it is actually the dems' fault.

    November 6, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. george from alaska the way, concerning health care...all you palin fantasy freaks should beware. have you ever seen the wide crap consuming grinnin' quart jar mouth she has? it's well known up here in alaska that she crammed every big oil executive in there to get on the governor's ticket. theres a lot of cooties in there!

    November 6, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Barbara -

    The view south from the country directly above you, (Canada – you know, that supposed socialist country) is very scary.

    Don't you see that the opposition to health care reform is obvious? It took me just minutes to get a complete list of those Senators who are on the "payroll" with campaign funds from the health industry. Check it out yourself- google "health industry throws cash at Senators". – That might put their agenda in the right light for you.

    I realize that the U.S. is not my country, and you could right say that it a way it's not my business, however, we share more than a border – we share hopes, dreams, and economical ties that are historical. Sure times are tough, but could have been so much worsed, It is my feeling that those goals are within reach with patience and respect.

    I have to say that I, and most of my countrymen, are totally DISGUSTED at the way the truth is being not only bent, but totally tied into a pretzel, by those against your President, no matter how hard he tries. Silly Sarah Teabag, and all the other naysayers are just not honest.

    I cringe when I hear the way some on the posters refer to PRESIDENT Obama....radical leftist, obozo, moron-in-chief, liar-in-chief, joker, obummer, oblahblah, teleprompter-in-chief, obumles, obama bin lyin, fraud-in-chief, messiah, clunker, usurper, empty suit, fascist, socialist, communist, muslim-in-chief, etc., etc., (all those from just one day's posts).

    The payoff was a post this morning, after the Fort Hood tragedy, saying that President Obama is "infiltrating the military with enemies". Wow... just wow... – To the uninformed, the alleged perp has been in the military for 12 years!!!!!.... President Obama hasn't been in office 12 MONTHS! How in the world can anyone make this statement?

    You all have my prayers!!!

    November 6, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Barbara -

    apologies for the typos.... (fingers a bit upset)!

    November 6, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Mark

    Only a liberal idiot would think it would be a good idea to add one trillion dollars to our national debt period.

    November 6, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. BillM

    To "Partiot885": was that supposed to read Patriot885 or Partidiot885? I suspect the latter.

    November 6, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Dan

    anyone voting for this 1900-page monstrosity needs to be removed from office. The bill is a power play, it is NOT about insuring US citizens AT ALL–it is about adding more debt to us, our children and our children's children–ad infinitum!

    Is it too much to ask to get some people who actually give a hoot in office these days? Stupid bill, no answers, no good ideas–GET RID OF IT!!!!

    November 6, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Terry from West Texas

    I support the health bill, the cap-and-trade bill, and other efforts by this Administration to solve the nation's problems.

    I am shocked by the Republican opposition to any and every action by any and every Democrat just for the sake of regaining political power. Republicans are deliberately trying to make the middle and lower classes suffer to increase public impatience with Obama.

    Republicans (meaning Conservatives) are not the loyal opposition. They are the disloyal opposition: they oppose any effort to make life better for ordinary Americans and they ridicule our democratic institutions. They ridicule the President, the Congress (this from Senators who were elected 20 years ago), the courts, and the "government" (whatever that is).

    Conservatism is not legally treason, but Conservatives have done far more damage to this country and cost more American lives than Islamic terrorism has. I'm not speaking of the gullible and deluded Republican voters; I am referring to the leadership that is making fools of them.

    November 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. NC

    To GI Joe: you are correct. My husband and I are Independents. We will not vote for any Republican that votes against HCR from this state.

    November 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Barbara -

    To single mom.... the question "are you a U.S. citizen" was NEVER on the 2010 census form!!!! It has been suggested by a Republican lately well AFTER the census forms have been printed.

    \As well, the question accomplishes nothing since there are millions of green card holders who are in the country legally, most residents for many many years, and are not citizens.

    November 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. PR

    Delayed.........ya think? How about doomed to a slow death. Shave of about 1,500 pages and add tort reform and we could get somewhere. Show some backbone and take on the lobby for attornies.

    November 6, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Beck

    Please think about this rationally – not politically. There is absolutely no way the country can support this financially. Especially if you do away with pre-existing conditions. I have a so-called cadillac plan. If a public option is rolled out, I'm outta here – I will gladly pay the $75 monthly fine for not having insurance until I need services, then sign up for insurance for a month or two, until services aren't needed, then go back to paying my $75 "fine". All insurances have pre-existing conditions. Have a car accident, watch your rates rise or be canceled/denied. Burn your house down, watch your rates rise or be canceled/denied. Not having a pre-existing conditions exemption is like buying car insurance after the accident to pay for the accident or buying life insurance on someone after they die. THINK.

    November 6, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    It is against many religions to support the murder of unborn children...if it is against the "sep of church and state" for the government to oppose abortion, then it would also be against the "seperation of church and state" to not only promote abortion as health care and also make people violate their religious beliefs by having to pay for abortion
    Illegal immigrants shold be rounded up and deported.PERIOD. No welfare. No health care. No education. NOTHING. Obama knows that current court cases have allowed illegals in two states to recieve benefits and as this has become precedent, he is either a liar or a poor attorney not to know that it will be a matter of time before they will have to be covered. Further as a lawyer who specializes in Con Law he knows this health care plan is a clear violation of the 11th Ammendment.

    November 6, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Samuel Bradsher

    This has gone on long enough so lets have healthcare now^^^^^

    November 6, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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