Update: On November 7, 2009, the House narrowly passed H.R. 3962 by a vote of 220 to 215 (Roll Call 887). 218 votes were required for passage. The health care debate now proceeds to the Senate.
November 6, 2009
The House Leadership announced last evening that the floor debate on the health care bill will begin at 9:00am this Saturday morning, November 7th with votes occurring as early as 9am. The 24-hour countdown to the vote begins right now!
Yesterday, while thousands of Americans rallied outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to protest the pending vote on the liberal Congress' Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), President Obama was on the Hill as well, lobbying the moderate Democrats who have expressed some concerns and opposition to this bill. Today, President Obama will be back on the Hill making a final effort to strong-arm the red state Democrats into supporting his government takeover of health care.
Please be aware of the following points on abortion funding in H.R. 3962. The abortion concerns are the best chance to defeat the "rule" (a procedural vote to proceed to debate) on Saturday:
- H.R. 3962 authorizes the "public option" to pay for all elective abortions. H.R. 3962 also creates a new national federal agency from which the "public option" will be administered. All federal agencies operate purely from federal funds because those are the only type of funds they can use, and the new Health Insurance Exchange will be no different. Once private dollars are transferred to the federal government or a federal agency in the form of a fine, a tax, or a paid premium, they are then no longer private funds - they become federal funds once the federal government assumes control of them.
- The Ellsworth Amendment is a phony "pro-life" amendment. Sponsored by so-called pro-life Democrat Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), this amendment, which is being discussed as a possible inclusion to the Democrats' grand Managers Amendment in an effort to appease some of the 40 pro-life Democrats who have vowed to vote NO on a bill that provides for abortion funding, will do nothing to prevent federal funds from going towards abortion coverage. All the Ellsworth Amendment will do is require the Health Insurance Exchange to hire contractors which will then pay the abortionists. So, instead of the abortionist receiving a check directly from the U.S. government, they will receive it from a contractor who is funneled money through the U.S. government.
- The real Pitts-Stupak pro-life amendment was rejected in committee and denied the chance to get a floor vote on Saturday. It is very important that you tell your Representatives (especially the 40 pro-life Democrats) that a vote for H.R. 3962 in its current form or even with the useless Ellsworth Amendment amounts to a vote for the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade (1973). Nothing less than an explicit exclusion of federal funding for abortion and government subsidies for plans that cover abortion will be considered pro-life language.
Even worse, a sure sign that legislative language marketed to be "pro-life" is in fact not pro-life is when one of Congress' most stalwart abortion supporters has no problem with it:
"None of us really had any objections to the Ellsworth language. In fact, we think he did a good job."
-Pro-Choice Caucus co-chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Congress Daily, 11/4/09
Many people often ask us why President Obama hasn't yet moved a major abortion bill through Congress-we say, the health care bill is his abortion bill!
Tell your Representative to VOTE AGAINST THE RULE to H.R. 3962 because the "rule" does not allow an up-or-down vote on the pro-life Pitts-Stupak amendment. A vote for the "rule" is a vote to allow federal funding for elective abortions on a massive scale for the very first time in American history.
There are 24 hours before the vote tomorrow. Please do all you can to phone and contact your Representatives and to get the word out that the Ellsworth Amendment is a phony.
For those of you who reside in districts with target Democrats, please concentrate on them. The "declared NOs" need just as much pressure to oppose this bill as the "undecideds."
Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121