Lawmakers Gear Up for Health Care Battle

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While leading Democrats are hoping to bring a $1.2 trillion health care bill to the House floor for a vote this weekend, opponents are rallying on Capitol Hill Thursday to challenge the measure.

Public support for President Barack Obama's handling of health care has eroded from 57 percent in March to 42 percent.

Meanwhile in Washington, the debate over health care reform has never been hotter.

CBN News spoke with Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity about the health care bill.  Click play for his comments following CBN News Washington Correspondent Jennifer Wishon's report.  Wishon also discussed the debate from the rally in Washington. Click here for her comments.

For example, Rep. Michelle Bachman ,R-Minn., called on opponents to show up on the National Mall, and then flood their congressmen's offices with people.

Bachmann told Fox News' Sean Hannity that she hoped all his viewers would join her for a press conference outside the capitol Thursday, and then go "up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, 'Don't take away my health care.'"

Dissention in the Ranks

Meanwhile, House Democrats are struggling to strike a deal with pro-life members of their caucus. The pro-life group wants to ban abortion funding from the health care legislation headed for debate on the House floor this week.

Under the House bill, health plans are neither required nor forbidden to cover abortions.

Some 40 pro-life Democrats say unless specific language is put in denying abortion funding, the bill will not get their vote - and that could derail the legislation.

"Somewhere in this process we have to have an opportunity to vote our conscience." Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., said. "In other words, we have to have a vote or we're going to try to take down the rule. "If we do not have the vote, most members of the 40 will not vote for the bill.

"I still want to see how it plays out," he added. "I'm optimistic we'll somehow get a vote. I for one would like to vote for health care but I have this hang-up that we should not have public funding for abortion. I don't think that has any role to be in here."

The House is expected to vote on the bill as early as this weekend. But it may be next year before the Senate clears its version of the measure.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.