Obama Warns House Dems that Voting Against Health Reform Won’t Shield Them from GOP Attacks

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Nov 7, 2009 3:04pm

President Obama didn't shy away from talking politics when he met with House Democrats behind closed doors. My colleague, ABC News' Teddy Davis, has the story: President Obama warned House Democrats on Saturday that Republicans will go after them even if they break ranks and vote against the Democratic health-care overhaul. “Do any of you expect the Republicans not to go after you if you vote against this bill?” said Obama during his closed-door meeting, according to a Democrat in the room. Obama's rare appearance on the Hill came after House leaders decided overnight to permit a vote on an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., which would prohibit federal money from subsidizing any government or private health-care plan which includes abortion as a service. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill originally wanted to satisfy the concerns of pro-life Democrats by requiring insurance companies to segregate government subsidies from money coming from private sources with only the latter being allowed to cover the cost of an abortion. Stupak and a group of Democrats opposed to abortion rights rejected this more minimal approach as merely "an accounting gimmick." Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not get the overall health-care bill through the House without their support, she agreed to give Stupak and his allies a vote on the tighter abortion restrictions.

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