This is it.
Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the final health care proposal is going to be released by the White House "as early as Feb 21," just three days from today.
Democrats are aggressively putting together a coalition to get a health care bill passed. With a final version coming out as early as Sunday, it is clear that Democrats know they are on the verge of having the votes they need to move forward, and they have a way to do it that is filibuster-proof:
"The most likely way forward is for the House to clear the Senate’s health care bill (HR 3590) and for the Senate to pass a package of changes to it, using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process. That set of changes would incorporate the deals struck with the House, which would then send the new package to the White House. Obama would first sign the original Senate bill, then the “corrections” package. The last measure signed into law would be the one that dictates the final shape of the overhaul."
You see, the House passed Stupak language that saves lives and protects taxpayers from funding abortion, but it was stripped in the Senate version. With pressure mounting for the House to pass the Senate version, lives are at stake.
Obama has refused to address the issue of abortion and I have zero confidence that he is going to keep abortion funding out of his proposal. And with the immense amount of pressure that Pelosi and Reid have been applying on pro-life Democrats, we cannot let a single one of them cave.
That's why we must move quickly. We've been working around the clock to put together a coalition of like-minded groups, leaders, and activists to press for Stupak language that protects innocent human life in the final bill.
We are in the final stretch. This is when your help -- your financial support and prayers -- counts the most. We must keep up the pressure on these pro-life Democrats to hold their ground, stick to their principles, and stand for women and the unborn.
Please donate whatever you can afford to give today. We've accomplished so much leading up to this point, we simply can't afford to back down with so many unborn lives hanging in the balance.
President, Susan B. Anthony List
PS: We are in the final stretch. It has been a long, tiring battle, but one we must win, which is why we must continue to fight. If we lose, the consequences would be detrimental to the fabric and conscience of our nation as we would have to endure the biggest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. We have put together a fragile coalition of pro-life Democrats, and now it is time to ramp up the pressure to ensure they do not cave. Please make a generous gift today so we can act quickly and effectively. Thank you for your continued generosity and your commitment to protecting life.
White House Preparing to Ram Through Abortion Expanding Health Care with Budget Bill
New Plan to be revealed as early as Sunday or Monday - would only require 51-vote majority
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, DC, February 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life leaders on Capitol Hill are once again rolling up their sleeves for the health care fight after the White House announced it would publish a compromise bill as soon as Sunday to push through abortion-expanding health care.
In a New York Times report Thursday, Democratic officials confirmed that President Obama's proposal was being designed for attachment to a budget bill, which would require only a 51-vote majority in the Senate through a process known as budget reconciliation.
If the new legislation (which is essentially a package of compromises to satisfy House Democrats) passes, the House would be forced to swallow whole the health bill the Senate passed in December. The House-passed bill, which included the Stupak language barring government monies from funding abortion, would be completely discarded in favor of the abortion-expanding Senate bill.
While Democrats originally intended to ram through a reconciled version of the House and Senate bills, that plan was dropped after Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown's win in January unexpectedly snatched away the Senate Democrats' filibuster-proof majority.
Officials told the NYT that the president would post the new plan on the Internet by Monday morning. A Congressional Quarterly report claimed the release could come as early as Sunday.
The reception by Congressional Democrats of Obama's proposal is not yet certain: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that she could not agree to a proposal until the end of the recess. House Democrats are expected to meet Monday evening.
The White House also threw down the gauntlet to Republicans, inviting party lawmakers to a televised summit Feb 25 to discuss the GOP's solutions for health care reform. "I want to consult closely with our Republican colleagues," Obama told CBS's Katie Couric earlier this month. "What I want to do is to ask them to put their ideas on the table."
Republicans have countered that their own proposal for health care reform has been publicly available for months, while the White House has all but completely shut out GOP members from negotiations throughout the long health care push. Michael Steele, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, blasted the proposed summit as "an infomercial" to push the unpopular bill.
“How will they incorporate our ideas? Will they abandon their plans to jam through their latest backroom deal?" asked Steele. "Or is this just an infomercial for the same government takeover of health care that the American people have rejected again and again?”
In a letter to Rahm Emanuel this month, Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor wrote: "We welcome President Obama’s announcement of forthcoming bipartisan health care talks. In fact, you may remember that last May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats."
Once again, the question of abortion funding is poised to throw a wrench in the delicate scheme: a Capitol Hill Democrat admitted to the Times that abortion remains "a wild card" for the health bill's future. The House bill passed by a razor-thin margin, relying on votes that insiders say will vanish when faced with a bill that lacks Hyde-amendent protection against abortion funding.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com last week, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, expressed certainty that pro-life Democrat representatives would hold out for a Hyde-amendment ban on abortion funding.
"They will. I’ve talked to many of them," said Smith. "They have hardened their position. I think they’ve seen how noble their position is. They are not going to go for a phony compromise. They are not going to go for weakening language no matter how cleverly it is presented."
Just before the Senate passed its health bill last year, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the final Democrat holding out against the bill and citing opposition to abortion funding, suddenly reversed his decision and endorsed a bill without the Stupak language.
Leaders in the Stop the Abortion Mandate Coalition urged pro-lifers to contact their senators and representatives urging opposition against the vast abortion expansion the health bill promises.