Abortion Issue Could Still Stop Health Care Reform

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The same Michigan lawmaker who forced the House to accept an amendment banning all abortion from health care reform says the pro-abortion Senate bill that must pass before Congress can use the “reconciliation” process does not have enough votes to pass the House.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) said even if abortion coverage was taken out of the Senate bill, he and many other members in his caucus still wouldn’t vote for it because it lacks other provisions they consider essential.
Stupak says another big concern among House members is the process of reconciliation, which will require them to sign on to the Senate bill even though there is no guarantee that the “corrections” that would be made in the Senate’s “reconciliation package” will ever get passed.

“You’re going to make members vote for a bill that’s going to be hung around your neck come Election Day,” he said. “After sending so much legislation to the Senate, we just don’t trust that they’re going to do it.”

Does he have enough pro-life Democrats to block the bill? Stupak said he can’t count the votes until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) puts forward a formal health care package.

Irregardless, the does not think the legislation will pass. “I’m not optimistic they’d get the votes in the House,” he said.

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