OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Senate Rejects Nelson Abortion Amendment

December 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By a vote of 54-45, the Senate today voted to table Sen. Ben Nelson’s [D, NE] amendment that would have blocked all women purchasing insurance on the new Exchanges from buying a plan that covers elective abortions, even if they are paying for the plan entirely with their own money. The amendment language largely mirrors one from Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] that was added to the House’s health care bill.

Without the amendment, the bill already restricts federal funding for elective abortions by requiring all government-provided insurance subsidies to be segregated from privately-paid individual premiums for the purpose of ensuring that the cost of abortion coverage is fully covered by individual premiums. This essentially maintains the Hyde Amendment, an agreement that has been reauthorized by Congress annually since 1976 barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions besides those resulting from rape or incest, or when the pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk.

Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote for the more restrictive Nelson amendment were:

Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN]
Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND]
Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND]
Sen. Edward Kaufman [D, DE]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]
Sen. Mark Pryor [D, AR]

Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote to maintain the restrictions written into the underlying bill were:

Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


  • bfallen 12/08/2009 12:39pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    What is wrong with this congress, don’t they understand the American Public do not want their Health Care Reform in the way they have it written, Can you say goodbye to the Liberals in 2010

  • sandy28610 12/08/2009 1:46pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    bfallen, you are absolutely correct. I don’t know how many ways I have informed my Senators and Congresswoman..We do NOT want their Health Care Reform. It is not in the interest of the people, it is for their own Political Interest so they think. But they are mistaken. Who in Maine keeps voting for the two RINOS? Do they not have any REAL Republicans in Maine?

  • Comm_reply
    eostrom 12/09/2009 6:06pm

    You know, most Mainers approve of Obama’s job performance, want more regulation of insurance companies, and favor a government-administered health plan to compete with private insurers.

  • craines 12/08/2009 2:55pm

    I’m glad you have insurance and all is well, for me and most the people I know and they are many republicans and Democrats, do not have any insurance and the ones that do can barely afford it. This is crazy with the plans they ofrer at all these low paying jobs, after paying for the insurance you wouldn’t have anything to live on, eat, pay your mortage, buy anything for your kids.

    There is a whole other crowd out here that needs this public option bad, we could lose everything if we have one mishap. Let our leaders legislate this bill and include a strong public option.


  • Comm_reply
    baldeagle 12/09/2009 2:36pm

    Does the left not understand. This is not about healthcare. It is about government control. I have seen the left (congress included) stand up and blame the evil insurance companies for the high price of insurance. Congress makes the laws. Why not let there be competition across state lines and do something about tort reform. Go ahead and let people sue, but the losing lawyer pays the winning lawyer’s fee. That way there would be fewer frivolous
    lawsuits. The lawyers are big villians is this whole deal and they would want to be fairly confident of a case before the undertook it.

  • craines 12/08/2009 2:56pm

    There is a whole other crowd out here that needs this public option bad, we could lose everything if we have one mishap. Let our leaders legislate this bill and include a strong public option.


  • Comm_reply
    baldeagle 12/09/2009 2:42pm

    I think we have been sold a real bill of goods. People without insurance aren’t being left to die an the streets. And it is not just emergency care that is given. I have a daughter that cannot afford insurance. She just had a baby. That is nine months of care with no insurance and she paid $0.00

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 12/09/2009 7:26pm

    Yes, there’s a very large crowd out there that believes that they are entitled to health care at the expense of others. They’re called parasites.

  • pegandoc 12/09/2009 11:12am

    I am in favor of the public option. If you already have a plan you like you can keep it. But please don’t deprive me of the option I so desperately need. I am one of the ‘American Public’ who favors this reform. It’s a far cry better than what the republicans propose “absolutely nothing”. They are opposing the reform because their pockets are lined by the insurance companies.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 12/09/2009 8:25pm

    If the Congress really wanted to help the situation, it would use its power to regulate commerce among the states to remove barriers to competition. Instead, they assert some mythical power to regulate the health care industry (and indirectly the people), despite the fact that the authority to regulate such was never granted to them by the Constitution. This is the rule of men, not the rule of law! Do you really want an arbitrary goverment of limitless power? If this bill is signed into law and not struck down by the judiciary, that is exactly what you’ll have. And if you support the bill, that is exactly what you deserve.

  • bassmac 12/11/2009 2:43am

    Has anyone ever engaged in one of these posts and read something that made them say, “He is right. I thought one thing, but he made a great argument so I am changing my position!” Do you all feel like you are making perfect sense and only like minded parties can see it? What’s up with people who disagree with our views? Do they lack the ability to think for themselves, or is everyone simply regurgitating what they hear on FOXnews and CNN?

    Maybe this health care bill will help some of our fellow Americans at a very small cost to the rest of us. Maybe this bill is a small step in the liberal direction of government control. So what!

    Maybe this bill is an exercise in compromise. Maybe health care is too expensive on average for some Americans to afford. Maybe, maybe, maybe I give up. Good luck not waivering in your respective mindsets.

  • bassmac 12/11/2009 2:49am

    Wait a minute, these comments are suposed to be in response to the Nelson Abortion Amendment.

    Is someone pushing related yet different agendas here? Not on a political discussion. That just isn’t like politically nided people to do. I wonder how many people don’t get that I use sarcasm a lot.

    Any way, see next post.

  • bassmac 12/11/2009 2:59am

    On track with the Nelson Abortion Amendment.

    It is sad that this amendment was not added. Women who would purchase insurance in advance to cover a future elective abortion would be a kin to someone buying fire insurance with the intent of one day burning thier house down. It is careless and wrong and I don’t want my taxes to be a part of that.

    However, if government health care intends to fund elective abortions in any manner, then it should also pay for nose and boob-jobs and other elective medical alterations.

    Womens rights, sure. You get knocked up because your stupid or careless, pay for it yourself out of your own pocket.

  • nlb99 12/19/2009 4:22pm

    Right or Wrong, this is my thinking about what Obama is doing to this country. He is dividing this country into 2 groups—1) working insured tax paying 2)non insured non working not paying taxes. You make group 1 cover group 2, you then have group 1 saying hell no and they become group 2. Then you have a whole country of group 2’s where the whole country is under a dicktatorship, not working and depending on the government for everything. Then the government takes our homes and vehicles and we have to pay such high prices for everything and own nothing, then we can become a 3rd world country. Notice I did not say socialism.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.