House Votes Tonight on Health Care

President Obama and his fellow Democratic leaders made a strong push for the House's health-care bill among undecided Democrats today as the party worked hard to overcome controversies over abortion and illegal immigration. With the Republicans voting unanimously against the legislation, Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi can only afford to lose 40 votes from their caucus, and they, along with Rahm Emanuel, Kathleen Sebelius and Arne Duncan, spent Friday making a case for the bill with fence-sitting Democrats. They had to negotiate with two dozen anti-abortion Democrats over the question of federal funds paying for abortions through government-sponsored insurance plans created by the bill. The group reached a compromise that will allow the pro-life Democrats to put their amendment to a vote of the full House—a risky solution that could backfire if some Democrats refuse to accept the outcome. At the same time, Hispanic Democrats sought assurance that the bill would continue to allow undocumented workers to buy insurance from the marketplaces created by the bill. The vote is scheduled to occur this evening, but there is a possibility it will be delayed.