Healthcare Open Thread

The HillHouse Democrats release bill for Budget markup Monday: "House Democrats on Sunday night set into motion what they hope will be the final steps on healthcare reform. The House Budget Committee on Sunday evening released text that will serve as the base legislation for the changes the House will seek to the Senate bill this week."

Washington PostDemocratic leaders say health bill will pass: "Democratic leaders scrambled Sunday to pull together enough support in the House for a make-or-break decision on health-care reform later this week, expressing optimism that a package will soon be signed into law by President Obama despite a lack of firm votes for passage. ... Democratic leaders are struggling to assemble support amid opposition to the Senate legislation from conservative Democrats, who object to abortion-related language in the bill, and from liberals, who are disappointed about the lack of a public insurance option and other measures."

New York Times Editors—More Than Onerous:
After a year of national debate, a handful of House Democrats who oppose abortion may be the ones to decide whether health care reform goes forward or not.

We strongly support a woman’s right to choose and are disturbed by the restrictions in both the House and Senate bills on a woman’s ability to buy insurance that covers abortions. But the opportunity to provide coverage for 30 million of the uninsured — and more security for all Americans — is too important to miss.

We are puzzled and dismayed that these legislators are willing to waste that opportunity because they say the onerous anti-abortion provisions in the Senate’s bill are still not onerous enough.

How did a small group get so much power? The answer has to do with the peculiarities of the legislative process and the fact that not a single Republican — for conviction or politics — is willing to vote for reform.

...Abortion is a legal and medically valid procedure that should be covered by insurance — without government interference. Legislators who support abortion rights are the only ones who have given ground in the interests of passing health care reform. Anti-abortion Democrats need to show similar statesmanship and accept the Senate's restrictive provisions. They owe it to all Americans.

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