Anti-abortion lawmakers key to health vote

March 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- Some anti-abortion House Democrats said they were working to forge a compromise that would let them vote for a landmark U.S. healthcare bill.

The House is to vote Sunday on a bill approved by the Senate in December.

Four more House members agreed Friday to support the bill, but votes still were needed from a key bloc of lawmakers who want assurances the $940 billion package would not open the door to federal funding for abortion, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Those key Democratic lawmakers, most of whom are from the Midwest and are Roman Catholic, generally support the bill but want changes in how it would handle insurance coverage of abortions, the Post reported.

"I want to vote for the bill. I just need to take care of a few issues before I can," Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., said Friday. Oberstar said he was studying language in the Senate bill that segregated federal funds from abortion services.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said a compromise could persuade most, if not all, of the key bloc to support a final bill. Kaptur said she was encouraged by private talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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