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ProLife Mommies Newsletter
Week of December 20, 2009 sorry soo late ..
In this issue: CNN Article, YouTube Video, Political Cartoon, Poll of the Week
Washington (CNN) -- Two liberal U.S. senators who had not committed to supporting the health care reform bill said Saturday they will vote "yes."
The holdouts were Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat.
Sanders said he will vote for approval because the measure now contains provisions for new community health centers. Brown said he favored the insurance reforms in the legislation.
Neither of the men is totally pleased, but they told CNN it's a good first step.
Earlier Saturday morning, Sen. Ben Nelson reached an agreement with Democratic leaders that allayed his concerns about abortion funding, he said.
Nelson, a social conservative from Nebraska who opposes abortion, does not want taxpayer funds to pay for that medical procedure. His vote is crucial for Democrats, who want to avoid a GOP filibuster.
Nelson also demanded that states that offer insurance offer at least one plan without the abortion option.
"Change is never easy, but change is what's necessary in America today. That's why I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform," Nelson told reporters. Cloture, which needs 60 votes to pass, means the Democrats can end debate on the health bill and send it to the Senate floor for a vote.
Nelson warned that if there are changes to the health bill when House and Senate leaders meet to resolve their differences, he will vote against ending the debate. The House has passed a different version of the bill.
Democrats gathered for a rare Saturday session to try to get the needed votes on the health measure.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who was one of the key senators involved in the talks with Nelson, confirmed that she's satisfied that the language of the agreement achieves its goal.
"My goal was to try to reach some compromise so we could move forward on health care, where the basic premise was we could separate federal funds from private funds. I think we achieved that."
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, agreed, saying the deal follows the principles of the Hyde amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used for abortions.
"Anyone who is in the exchange who also gets a federal subsidy because they're poor, if they choose a private insurance policy and want any kind of abortion coverage, they have to write that part of the premium from their own personal funds," the Florida senator said.
The health bill proposes a health insurance exchange for those unable to afford health coverage or who don't have coverage. No federal funds could be used to cover abortions for people participating in the exchange, the bill says.
Poll of the Week:
Do you think there will still be abortion in this health care reform they keep trying to pass?