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Final Health reform vote scheduled for this afternoon in US House


Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer confer (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have tentatively scheduled a final vote on the House's version of healthcare reform legislation for this afternoon at 6pm. 

The House Republican Caucus and each of its 177 members are firmly opposed to this bill.  It is widely thought, in fact, that the Democratic leadership lacks the 218 votes necessary to pass this 1990-page piece of legislation.  President Obama is expected on Capitol Hill today to make a final push to corral last-minute votes.  If the Democratic leadership and President Obama are unable to get the 218 votes that they need, procedural rules will be invoked to postpone a final vote until they're confident of passage.

Conservative Democrats have strongly objected to language that they believe is not strong enough concerning a prohibition against the use of federal subsidy monies for abortion.  Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has concerns that this bill does not allow undocumented, illegal immigrants to purchase insurance under the public insurance option.  The president, who has invested considerable time and political capital in this issue, has been firm in stating that he will not support a bill that offers public funds either for abortion or illegal immigrants.  Majority Leader Hoyer claims, "the bill presently provides no federal funding will be used for abortion...there will be no funding for illegal immigrants."  Because the Republicans have all said that they will not support this bill and none of their amendments are being considered, these are, at present, the only roadblocks to this bill's passage.

Once this bill passes, however, it will need to be reconciled in a conference committee with the Senate's considerably more moderate version of healthcare reform that may not pass until early next year.


  • leslie 5 years ago

    This is a tremendous step forward and one that America should be proud of because it demonstrates that we in fact can and will take care of our own. Abortion obviously is a hot button issue but the compromise (only provided for in the case of incest, rape and danger to the mother) is reasonable. Let's continue to strive for an improved bill presented to the Senate and passed by mid-year

  • cynthia 5 years ago

    This is real progress. Hopefully they can pass this bill, which is a good bill and move on to the senate and pass it there as well. I am praying that health care reform passes this year and that the lobbyists and special interest groups are not able to derail it. This is truly a good thing for middle class Americans. It is sad that so many citizens have been mislead by special interests and the media into fighting against their own best interests.

  • EP 5 years ago

    I am tired of the insurance companies making millions off of poor people. Let's put an end to this tyranny and get a decent healthcare bill.

  • Drew Pugsley 5 years ago

    First let's try and hold down the obscenities.

    Secondly, this issue cannot be about us v. them. It's not about class divisions between poor people and insurance companies. The issue is that increases in health care costs are making it difficult for families and businesses to get insurance (middle class families). Something should be done about this and something will. In the best interest of the doctors and researchers who really drive this industry, there should be a concerted effort to find a private sector solution to this problem (i.e. regulations or the public option trigger). I hope that the Senate bill (and the conference report that will ultimately become law) will do a better job of that.

  • Amazing 5 years ago

    This is the worst idea I have seen in government EVER. Such a horrible idea.

  • Amazing 5 years ago

    I can't believe a WOMAN says that women shouldn't have real abortion rights. Let's bring bring unwanted children into the world.Brilliant! And, no, women aren't going to carry a baby for someone else. Sorry, honey. Makes me sick that women don't even stand up for their only right that is only theirs. Disgusting.