Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Abortion a Persistent Issue in Health Care Debate
Wall St. Journal: Perennial Feud Remains on Abortion, by Laura Meckler:
Many obstacles need to be cleared if the Democrats are to pass their health-care legislation, but one of the toughest will be the persistent issue of abortion.
Abortion was one of the final matters to be resolved in December when the Senate created its version of the health-care bill, with a carefully crafted compromise that left neither side in the debate happy. If a final bill is to clear the House, Democrats will have to find a way to finesse the problem again. One idea being floated involves inserting more-restrictive language later into a spending bill. . . .
The path toward passing the bill, given united Republican opposition, goes this way: The House passes the Senate bill, and both sides then approve alterations using a process known as reconciliation, which requires a simple majority in the Senate. Reconciliation can only be used for matters that relate to the federal budget, and abortion doesn't qualify. Thus, the Senate version would stand. . . .