C-Span is broadcasting the House debate on health care. A civic's lesson, for sure, but a sports announcer would help.And this in the Times (11/7/09): "On Friday night, as the clocked inched toward midnight, lawmakers in the House Rules Committee hearing room were arguing loudly over various provisions of the big health care legislation. But the real fight was going on in the office of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, who tried mightily and ultimately failed to bridge a bitter intra-party disagreement over the issue of health insurance coverage for abortions."With just hours to go before the start on Saturday morning of historic floor debate over the health care bill, leading Democratic members of the Pro-Choice Caucus emerged from Ms. Pelosis office unable to contain their fury. Ms. Pelosi, unwilling to delay a vote on the larger bill, had decided that Democrats who oppose abortion simply had too many votes on their side; for the moment, at least, the liberals who favor abortion rights had lost."In the end, Ms. Pelosi decided that abortion opponents would be allowed to offer an amendmentto the health care bill that would impose tight restricts on abortions that could be offered through a new government-run insurance plan and through private insurance that is bought using government subsidies that the legislation would provide to moderate-Americans to help them afford health coverage."With dozens of Democrats and most of the 177 Republicans expected to vote in favor of the amendment to restrict coverage for abortions, Democratic leadership aides said it was likely to be approved."We'll see how this goes!http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/abortion-fight-erupts-in-health-care-debate/?hp

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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