In the meantime, an agreement was reached among Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) and other anti-abortion members on language that would prevent federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions except in certain cases, such as rape or incest. In particular, it would prohibit federal funds for abortion services in the bill's public option.
It would also prohibit individuals who receive “affordability credits” under the bill's health insurance exchange from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions, though the measure would still enable people to purchase plans that cover elective abortions with their own money. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions.
The anti-abortion members apparently will be given the opportunity to offer these abortion restrictions the form of an amendment during floor debate on the bill. Some abortion-rights advocates such as Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) aren't happy with the language, however, and said they won't support it.
A separate bill to address physician payments in Medicare won't be considered on the floor until Nov. 16, an aide to Hoyer verified.
The rules panel, which sets the terms and conditions under which a bill may be considered on the floor of the House, deliberated for many hours on both pieces of legislation.
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