Sunday, March 21, 2010

Breaking news: The Stupak anti-abortion Democrats agree to vote for health care reform

I think this puts health care reform over the top.

As reported by TPM:
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has reached a deal with House Democratic leadership on the abortion language in the health care reform bill.

Stupak, a pro-life Democrat, was one of the key holdouts on the bill, and as late as this morning told reporters that he controlled eight of the votes.

He just announced that he and the leadership have reached a deal on the bill's abortion language, and he and "eight or nine" house Democrats will now vote "yes." [....]
Part of this deal was an agreement with the White House that the President "will be issuing an executive order after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion." For the text of that executive order, see here.

At first glance, the promised executive order doesn't change the provisions in the existing health care package, but merely confirms them. However, that will be a matter for more extended interpretation.

More immediately, however, what this agreement almost certainly means is that the health care reform package will pass the House today. Doing that will require 216 votes. Stupak: "We're well past 216." And: "The real winner is really the American people,"

--Jeff Weintraub