Fired-Up Obama Makes Last Push for Health Care: 'We Are Going to Make History'

Stupak's more restrictive anti-abortion language passed the House by a vote of 240-194, but it was defeated in the Senate, and it's the Senate health care bill that House Democrats are now amending. Proponents of Stupak argue that language will not be enough to prevent federal funding from going toward those services. But others, such as President Obama, argue that it maintains current law.

"There's still no change," Stupak said on "Good Morning America" today of his plan to vote "no." "My group is holding firm."

But the Michigan Democrat said he is open to a deal on the abortion language if he can get a firm commitment from the Senate.

"There is renewed interest in that piece of legislation that I and a number of us are ready to introduce. It's prepared, everybody's looking at it right now," Stupak said on "GMA." "That's one way maybe -- but we still have to deal with the Senate."

Pelosi wouldn't comment on the negotiations. She said some members of the House "may be" talking about a separate bill with abortion provisions, but the focus right now is to gather the votes for the health care bill.

"This bill is about health care and not about abortion," she told reporters today. "There will be no further changes in the bill."

Another Democrat against the abortion wording in the bill, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, also said Thursday she is open to a separate bill with the House abortion language.

Health Care Debate Heats Up

The president is reaching out to a number of lawmakers who are undecided about how they will vote.

Even Vice President Joe Biden has been constantly working the phones.

"They say, 'Well Joe, look man, I mean, you know, you guys haven't messaged this very well,'" Biden told ABC News' Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview in Durham, N.C., Thursday. "And, 'you know, this thing has gone on so long.'"

Biden said his response to worried lawmakers is simple: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

"I'm telling you, you know, pre-existing [conditions], they're going to be covered. You know we're going to control the insurance companies," the vice president said. "You know people aren't going to lose their health care with their employer like is being advertised."

Biden said once these provisions take effect, and the American people feel the impact, lawmakers who vote "yes" will reap the benefits.

Democrats have been touting a preliminary report from the Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that the health care bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and will reduce the deficit by $138 billion in the same time period

Obama hailed the bill as the "most significant effort to reduce the deficit since the Balanced Budget Act" of the 1990s.

ABC News' Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...