Democrats will strip out the Stupak amendment if the health care bill goes to reconciliation

From the Politico:

Democrats will almost certainly kill the anti-abortion Stupak amendment in the process if they go to Plan B on passing health care -- using a filibuster-proof reconciliation bill -- budget experts say.

"There is no way on God's green Earth that the Stupak amendment would pass muster in a budget reconciliation bill," says Bill Hoagland, an insurance lobbyist who was the top GOP aide on the Senate Budget Committee for two decades and served as then-Majority Leader Bill Frist's budget guru.

Democratic budget experts in Congress and the administration who asked not to be quoted on the record agree with Hoagland's assessment. . . .

Democratic leaders would like to bury the Stupak amendment, which is at odds with the pro-choice position of most Democrats and which abortion-rights advocates say is a dangerous encroachment on the rights of women.

But it's a tricky proposition in a floor-vote scenario because a number of Senate Democrats, including up-for-election Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could have trouble voting against what proponents say is a simple extension of a current principle -- that federal funds shouldn't be used to pay for abortion -- to a new health insurance marketplace.

If Reid chooses to go the reconciliation route, he can rely on the rules to quash Stupak's amendment, budget experts say. . . .

UPDATE: From Fox News on Sunday:

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod suggested Sunday that President Obama will intervene to make sure a controversial amendment restricting federal funding for abortion coverage is stripped from final health care reform legislation.

In doing so, the president would be heeding the call of abortion rights supporters like Planned Parenthood that have called the White House their "strongest weapon" in keeping such restrictions out of the bill.

The abortion amendment was tacked on to the House health care bill and was a key factor in securing the votes of moderate Democrats before the bill was approved by a narrow margin last weekend. The amendment, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., went beyond preventing the proposed government-run plan from covering abortion to restrict federal subsidies from going toward private plans that offer abortion coverage. . . .

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