If Democrat Martha Coakley loses today’s special Senate election in Massachusetts, some White House and Senate aides have determined that getting the House to pass the Senate health care bill unchanged is their last best hope for victory on President Barack Obama’s signature issue.
If so, the president is likely to lose the one vestige of bipartisanship on the health care issue. Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana, the lone Republican vote for the health care overhaul on either end of the Capitol, will not vote for the Senate bill, Cao spokeswoman Princella Smith said this morning. The language roping federal funds away from abortion services is not sufficient.
“It’s a complete deal breaker with him if there’s not sufficient language to protect the lives of the unborn,” said Smith, citing her boss’s beliefs, his training as a Catholic priest and his role as adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate version does not have that sufficient language."