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Dems vow to resurrect health care bill Backroom health care deals fuel voter anger

  • Broadcast in Politics



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Giving up on health care overhaul is not an option, the top House Democrat said Wednesday as lawmakers looked to President Barack Obama for guidance in his State of the Union address on how to revive the stalled legislation. Asked if Congress might abandon a health care initiative beset with political and policy problems, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded: "I don't see that as a possibility. We will have something." Democrats got encouragement Wednesday from groups as diverse as the nation's Catholic bishops and the head of the largest labor union federation. In a letter to members of Congress, the bishops urged lawmakers to "recommit themselves to enacting genuine health care reform." "The health care debate, with all its political and ideological conflict, seems to have lost its central moral focus and policy priority, which is to ensure that affordable, quality, life-giving care is available to all," said clergy from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Now is not the time to abandon this task, but rather to set aside partisan divisions and special interest pressures to find ways to enact genuine reform." Similarly, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said the Senate should come up with a measure that the House can pass. "We fought too long and too hard for health care to quit for now," Trumka said in an interview. Both the Catholic Church and labor unions have flexed their political muscle in the debate. The bishops say they won't support a final bill that includes Senate-passed language they see as too weak in restricting taxpayer funding for abortion. Labor unions pushed — and succeeded — in weakening a proposed tax on high-cost insurance plans.