Reid and Pelosi Tell Obama They Have Votes for Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Reid and Pelosi Tell Obama They Have Votes for Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 8
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama met with the pro-abortion leaders of the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and harry Reid, today. The meeting came in advance of his major speech tomorrow urging Congress to approve a pro-abortion health care "reform" bill.

According to an ABC News report, during the meeting Pelosi and Reid told Obama they have the votes in their respective chambers for the bills.

The comments are interesting given that, in the House, a group of 40 Democrats could join Republicans in opposing a bill because of abortion funding. In the Senate, there are not enough votes to approve the bill with a government-run option.

Reid addressed that and said he may be looking to a compromise measure to get enough votes, telling reporters “we’re going to do our very best to have a public option or something like a public option before we finish this work.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a pro-abortion Montana Democrat, has already crafted a compromise he hopes will be approved by his committee soon.

He had been working with six members of his panel, three Republicans and three Democrats, to fashion a compromise bill but went at it alone and came up with a measure that he hopes will get the support of at least one of the three Republicans.

The Baucus measure does not have a public option but does include health care cooperatives and also hefty fines for Americans who do not obtain health care insurance.

Baucus signaled Tuesday he would go ahead with his bill anyway, even if he doesn’t get any Republican support.

"Time is running out very quickly, and I suspect we will be making some decisions fairly quickly," Baucus said, according to Politico.

The bipartisan group of six senators met Tuesday and Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Mike Enzi both refused to say if they would support the bill.

Another potential avenue for congressional Democrats is a bill that would include a trigger option, that would put the government option in place if health insurance companies fail to get enough Americans insured by a certain date.

However, that bill won’t get the support of Republicans, according to House
GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence, who is pro-life.

“I think a lot of Republicans would be very leery of a trigger, because a bad idea today would be a bad idea tomorrow,” he said.

Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, also pro-life, added, “I’d have to look at that very, very carefully, because I think that’s just a way of getting a public option, just maybe a bit more slowly."

In another development, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, said he could for a health care bill that lacks a government-funded public insurance option.

That puts him at odds with Pelosi, who has demanded that the government option be included.

Tomorrow, Obama will deliver the speech that could make our break the abortion-health care debate.

"People will come away understanding where he is on these big issues and these big questions," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday. However, Gibbs sidestepped questions about whether Obama would sign a bill that lacks the public option.

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