Details of Senate Health Care Bill Coming, First Vote to Debate Likely Saturday

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Details of Senate Health Care Bill Coming, First Vote to Debate Likely Saturday

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 18
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The details of the Senate version of the government-run health care bill are coming soon and the measure, which will likely include massive abortion funding as well as end-of-life and rationing concerns, was unveiled to Senate Democrats late this afternoon.

The presentation of the bill at the party caucus meeting follows a day of heavy-handed lobbying from pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden and other Obama administration officials.

They joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in meeting with three lawmakers whose votes are essential to getting the 60 needed to begin debate on the legislation.

Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson are the three senators who are most likely to join Republicans in supporting the filibuster, which, if successful, could potentially kill the bill.

After the meetings, CNN indicated Landrieu and Nelson sounded positive notes that made it appear they may vote for allowing debate to begin.

"Reid gave me some assurances that some of my concerns will be dealt with," said Landrieu.

Still, she and Nelson confirmed they will not pledge Reid their vote on the Motion to Proceed until they have a chance to see the bill.

"I won’t decide how I’ll vote on the motion to proceed until I know what I’m voting on," he said.

"At this point in time, it sort of seems like it," Nelson said about whether Reid has satisfied his concerns.

However, Nelson added that he and Reid did not discuss the issue of abortion funding during the meeting.

"We weren’t seeking commitments so much as we were expressing our concerns and our interests, and I think we’ll know more after the 5 pm caucus," he added.

Adding to the uncertainty, pro-abortion Sen. Max Baucus flew back to Montana to handle a family emergency, but Reid’s office indicated it expected him to return in time for the vote on the Motion to Proceed.

To keep abortion funding out of the health care bill, pro-life advocates continue working overtime.

This week the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List has expanded its efforts to mobilize tens of thousands of pro-life Americans in support of the pro-life Stupak-Pitts Language. The organization launched a campaign to mobilize 390,000 pro-life households nationwide through automated calls.

Voters in key states will be given the option of live patch-through calls directly to their Senator’s office.

“In the debate over health care reform, there is just simply no room for compromise when human life is at stake. Either you fund abortion or you don’t,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told

“Americans won’t settle for phony compromises and accounting gimmicks – they deserve authentic safeguards that will ensure not one dime of federal funds subsidizes abortion or health plans that cover abortion. The Senate should respect this status quo, precedent set under the Hyde Amendment. Now is not the time to cave into the increasing scare-tactics, threats and demands from the abortion lobby," she said.

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