National

Oct 23, 2009 9:53 AM by Associated Press

Abortion divides House Dems in health care debate

The question of abortion is turning out to be a major hurdle as House Democrats try to shape their final version of a health care overhaul.

At issue is whether the House remake of the nation's health care system would effectively allow federal funding of abortion.

At least two dozen anti-abortion Democrats believe it would. Their opposition puts them at odds with Democratic leaders just weeks ahead of anticipated floor action on the bill.

The main point of contention is proposed new federal subsidies that would help lower-income people purchase health care coverage from private plans - and potentially from a new government-sponsored plan - within a new purchasing exchange.

The Democrats' health overhaul version would create a new stream of federal funding not covered by the current law that bans federal funding of abortions.

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