House leaders are facing criticism from business groups and wading through contentious issues such as abortion and undocumented immigrants as they try to secure votes for legislation overhauling U.S. health care.
Because government money would be used to help buy insurance, critics said some might go toward abortions. House members are still discussing whether to allow undocumented aliens to use their own money to purchase private insurance sold on the so-called exchange, a regulated market to be set up in 2013
Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak contends that 40 members would unite to block House consideration of the legislation unless the abortion issue is resolved or they are given a chance to introduce an amendment during floor debate.
Another controversy may be waiting because of provisions that call for end-of-life counseling. During the summer, critics charged that Democrats planned to set up “death panels” that would decide who got care. The new bill says nothing in it would “presume the withdrawal of treatment.”
Well, that’s a relief.