Latest on Healthcare Debate

POSTED: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 9:37am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm

"We're likely to come to a vote on the abortion question maybe by tomorrow," said Senator Dick Durbin ahead of a rare Sunday session: only the thirtieth since 1861! As early as today, Democrat Ben Nelson will try to amend his own party's health care reform measure.

Nelson wants to limit coverage of abortion to cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger. Liberal Democrats are outraged highlighting a party split on reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "Well of course we have the abortion issue that's not over with yet."

Republicans sound united. Texas Senator John Cornyn said, "Our goal is not just to deal with things only like the public option and the abortion issue, but also to point out that this cuts a half a trillion dollars in Medicare."

President Obama went to Capitol Hill urging Democrats privately to settle their differences. A frustrated Republican John McCain said, "It's time to stop this behind closed doors routine that they have been going through and deal cutting."

One GOP amendment failed. It would have limited Plaintiffs' lawyers' fees in malpractice cases. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter said, "The issue of malpractice litigation really ought to be left to the states." Senators voted two to one against it.