Dems: Time for Final Health Care Showdown

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WASHINGTON -- After a year of bitter debate, Democrats say the final showdown for health care reform is here.

A vote on health care reform is expected to come at the end of the week.

But as the White House is predicting victory, Republican lawmakers are doing everything they can to defeat the bill.

Currently, Democrats lack the votes needed to pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Click play for more health care reform analysis with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody.  Also, click here for comments from Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life about concern of abortion funding in the bill.

Dems Declare Victory

Still, certain members of the party remain confident. They say they still have time to scrounge up the 216 votes they need to pass their health care bill.

"When we bring our bill to the floor, I am certain we will be successful," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

"We don't have them as of this morning," Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. "We've been working this thing all weekend. We'll be working it going into the week."

Meanwhile, President Obama, having delayed a foreign trip to help do his part, isn't letting up. He is making another personal sales pitch alongside a cancer patient in Ohio.

White House officials say the bill will bring down health care costs and give coverage to more Americans.

"We do believe that, a week from today, we'll be talking about a bill that has passed the House, not being considered by the House," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

But the bill - loaded with kickbacks to guarantee votes - is unpopular not only among the public, but with some in the president's own party.

"A large portion of Chris' caucus doesn't support the bill because six out of 10 Americans don't support the bill," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., told "Fox News Sunday."

Republicans Vow to Fight

Pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., said he won't vote for the bill, because it doesn't contain language strong enough to ban public funding of abortions.

He said Democrats don't want to include his amendment because "more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more." Money, Stupak said, is their hang-up.

"Is this how we now value life in America?" Stupak challenged. "If money is the issue - come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we're talking about."

Meanwhile, some GOP lawmakers are promising a fight.

"I'm doing everything I can to prevent this bill from becoming law," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

One way Republicans plan to fight the measure is by offering hundreds of amendments to the bill on any subject, not just health care.

Pending Vote

Still, the White House predicts an end in sight to this nearly year-long debate. They plan to bypass standard Senate procedures requiring 60 votes.

"The American people are entitled to an up or down vote," White House Advisor David Axelrod said. "We don't want to see procedural gimmicks used to try and prevent an up or down vote on this issue."

"If they do this it's going to poison the well for anything else they'd like to achieve this year or thereafter," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. warned.

Republican leaders plan to use both the Democrats' tactics and the unpopular bill as a way to win over voters in this year's mid-term elections.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at