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. John independent from NY

    This bill as written is a complete disaster. I am an independent who will vote has consistently voted for Senators Shumer and Gillibrand. If they vote for this I will turn my vote to their challlengers. Murphy in the house he loses my vote tooo if he voptes for this. Take out Gov't run pieces and I may support this.

    November 6, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Baby Boomer

    Oh for the love of ... Another delay??? Really??? Really???

    November 6, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Against Stupid

    "To the Party of NO: If you can't contribute something positive and intelligent to the debate-SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!"

    If you mean NO to the taking of innocent lives
    NO to further invasion of my liberties
    NO to further confiscation of my hard-earned pay
    NO to paying for people who don't have the drive nor ambition to succeed and blame those that do for their lot in life
    NO to big government being the solution, when in reality it is the problem
    NO to telling me how to think, speak, and live my life the way I want
    NO to granting an illegal amnesty while spitting in the face of those who worked so hard to become legal.
    NO to open borders
    NO to the denigration of our culture
    NO to English as a second language
    NO to denying me my right to protect myself and my family

    Than I believe you got the Repubs pegged!

    November 6, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. mjm

    barry g November 6th, 2009 12:07 pm ET

    The republicans would vote down health care for their own mothers. they don't care about the public, but only their own well being. Let everyone have the same health care that the Senators have. God we couldn't do that! Give health care to the low life!! Shame on anyone related to a republican!!

    Government employees, including Senators, have private insurance.

    They have BCBS or UHC. They pay for their insurance just like everyone else. It comes out of their pay checks.

    Funny you should mention mothers...My father will lose his Medicare Advantage under HR 3200, not my mother. She'll lose her Medicare in 2019, when the system goes broke.

    November 6, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. RealityKing

    If Obama signs this budget busting bill then he will have broken his promise for deficit neutral reform.

    November 6, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. valwayne

    10.2% UNEMPLOYMENT! 10.2% UNEMPLOYMENT! The Democrats have controlled Congress for THREE YEARS, and Obama the White House for 10 Months and all we've had was a near trillion dollar corrupt spending bill that filled the pockets of the special interests and trillions upon trillions in corrupt spending, debt, and printed money. The result? 10.2% UNEMPLOYMENT and still shooting up. What are Obama and the Democrats doing about it? NOTHING! They're too busy trying to cram another Massive, Multi-Trillion dollar Government Takeover of Healthcare down our throats. A program that will hit the economy like a million ton of bricks and shoot UNEMPLOYMENT up to 20%. They don't even seem to CARE? After all its just the bitter, gun toting, bible thumping, bigotted working class that's paying the price!!!!

    November 6, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. HJA

    Eric in Denver November 6th, 2009 12:46 pm ET
    "Is this really a surprise. We are in an economic collapse because of Barack and his crazy spending and now we want to kill 18% of the economy? "

    I wish you guys would get your history right. Obama did nothing to cause this. Your Republican buddies ruined this country. Obama inherited this mess. Try to keep up on current events OK?

    November 6, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Justafacts

    The facts are that we are broke. The current admin only wants to control u. The real reform in health care is in reforming tort cases, offering choice and eliminating pre-existing conditions. Its not a mind mending process, but it does take some real truths not 1990 pages of legal eze to just cover for payback to trial lawyers. We the people deserve better. And yes Medicare is just another form of entitlement nothing more. Americans take responsibility for your VOTE and yourself. What do we need government to tell us not to eat cake. Get real we are/were AMERICANS. What's changed is that too many simply want a free ride. U may get it but at a price of your liberty are u prepared to lose what America fought so hard to win for ALL OF US.

    November 6, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. bigbill

    One of the posters here said;
    "Is this really a surprise. We are in an economic collapse because of Barack and his crazy spending and now we want to kill 18% of the economy?"

    I think it is interesting that you think he had something to do with a collapse that happened before he took office.

    November 6, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Pelosi and her health care.........

    bill are falling into the abyss........we're loving it.......

    Sarah Palin/Liz Cheney 2012'

    November 6, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    OHHHH the DISMAY .... another DELAY… and it’s NOT OKAY!!

    I am a programmer analyst and when I am asked how long it would take me to work on a project I say 3 months even though I can do it in a month!!!! 3 months sounds good to them because they thought it would take longer. Then, I keep my mouth SHUT and when a month or so has passed, the project would be presented and EVERYONE would be "ecstatic"!!

    Just because we have 24-hour cable news coverage, you DO NOT need to report every second, minute, hour on the status of Health Care!!!

    November 6, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. If this health care program is so good.....

    then let Obama and Congress sign up for it first.

    November 6, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. marcia

    Ha Ha Ha Nancy Pelosi.
    You who will never have the same health
    care as that danm public.
    Nancy...get lost!

    November 6, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Voted4HealthCare

    Sorry for typo...Boehner did not know the difference between the Declaration Of Independence and our US Constitution during Michele Bachmann's absurd teabagging against health care yesterday, while deplorably using dipictions of the Holocaust in their crowd (ad nauseum). Shame on them!

    November 6, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    @Dawn: "....are you telling me that Canada, Australia, the UK and France are so much more advanced than the US that we can't even get health insurance reform to pass in this country?"

    In what sense is it an "advance" to waste a trillion bucks on paying the medical bills of welfare bums who can be bothered to take responsibility for themselves?

    If you like Canada, Australia, the UK and France so much, you're welcome to leave. I've spent significant time in all four countries, and liked them. (If I had to choose, I'd say Melbourne, Australia, would be my first choice, among those places, to live, possibly followed by Montpelier, France.)

    The down-side of course, is that taxes in all four of those countries are outrageous, and it seems that there are a lot of Canadians who come to the US for its better health care.

    November 6, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. John D.

    Doesn't anyone realize this is just anoth Democratic Entitlement Program that this country does not need. We do not need the Government running our Healthcare System. To GI joe I say wake up. Look at history and remember what it was to have politicians involved. The red tape and beauracracy. Stop the waste and fraud in medicare/medicaid for a huge savings. Let small bussinesses ban together to buy insurance across state lines. Tort Reform. These are real actions that can be taken to save our current system. The money saved would insure the legal citizens of this country including the ones with pre-existing conditions. Just throwing money at the problem is not the answer.

    November 6, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Glenn

    People like Michael should be let to a deserted island and kept there for 10 years......with Nancy Pelosi has his partner. Anyone who votes for this bill will be retired next year at this time......the intelligent people will see to that.

    November 6, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Mark, Bham

    Maybe it will be delayed long enough to relize America does not want the public option since it will be the foot in the door for a single payer universal helath care system. I spent most of my life in one as a dependent and on active duty Navy. When care got expensive, instead of allocating more money they cut personel and quality of care which have both taken a hit, especially with the HMO system the Clinton Administration forced us into..

    November 6, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. mark

    Americans spoke on Tuesday. No public option!

    November 6, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. marty

    It's a given...the majority of the Americans want health care reform with a public option and single payer system. Note the government officials who are against the bill now being proposed..they all have a public option with full complements and health amenities for the rest of their taxpayer expense!! The scrutiny over health care reform for all citizens is remarkable. The anti-reformers are simply putting money, the greenback, ahead of the needs of healthy, thriving, countrymen and countrywomen. A scrutiny that was totally absent when the U.S. decided to invade Iraq. Question: if a family member of Congress quietly sought an abortion, would their current insurance cover expenses?

    November 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Anyone read this thing

    Has anyone actually read this 1900 page bill? There is so much heated debate on this someone must know what is really in the bill. All I hear is what others want me to think whats in the bill.

    Does anyone know what the details of the public option are? Who will get it? Is the Federal goverment going compete with private industry? Is everyone going to be forced to take some form of medical insurance? Does a company now have the right to not give health coverage anymore? There are so many more questions I can think of, guess I will keep looking for the bill to read myself

    Unless someone has seen the bill do we even really know whats in it and how it will effect everyday Americans

    November 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. southerncousin

    Is Pelosi looking for more money to steal from the hard working taxpayers of America? Please pass this atrocity soon, so that we can get rid of the liberals. Once America realizes they have been hoodwinked again by this congress (stimulus?), the libs will be out of office for decades and then "Obama one and done."

    November 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Lisa P

    If anyone knows about pushing the country into an economic abyss it would be the Republicans.

    Unlike tax cuts for the wealthy, bank deregulation and trumped-up wars, health care reform will actually help most Americans where it counts - in the pocketbook. Less money on health care costs and insurance premiums means more money to spend on other products and services. Think of it as a trickle-up program to counter years and years of trickle-down failure.

    November 6, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. CJ

    How are the Republicans hold back anything? The Dems have a majority – they can call for the vote any time they like. So the problem must be that even the Democrats are rejecting the bill. Open your eyes people – stop blaming every problem on Bush and Co.

    November 6, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    When is this woman going to learn to keep her mouth shut until she has the votes?

    She comes out and says one thing then 2 days later she retracts.

    No wonder folks think she is a flake.

    Keep your yap shut until you are certain you have the votes, otw, you look weak and indecisive.

    November 6, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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