Gibbs: Senate Health Bill Closer to Obama’s Goal on Abortion Funding Issue

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 27, 2009 10:04am

I asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs off-camera after our interview this morning on "This Week" which health reform bill comes closer to President Barack Obama's goal, the House or the Senate version?

As lawmakers prepare to meet to reconcile the two bills before it can be sent to the president's desk, one big difference between the two bills are restrictions placed on abortion funding.

In the Senate version, the language on abortion funding would allow women who receive government subsidies to purchase insurance policies that cover abortion, but they would have to write separate checks.

But the House language is tougher. It prohibits women who receive government subsidies from taking out plans that provide abortion coverage.

I asked President Obama about that last month.

"There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo. And that's the goal," Obama told me in November.

So, does the Senate language come closer to what the president wants than the House language?

Gibbs told me this morning: "Yes."

-jpt

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