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The Health Care Endgame45:58
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Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) lifts a copy of the Democratic health care reform bill on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. Democrats united to push health care legislation past a key hurdle in a 60-39 vote on Saturday night, opening the way for full Senate debate on the bill.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) lifts a copy of the Democratic health care reform bill on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. Democrats united to push health care legislation past a key hurdle in a 60-39 vote on Saturday night, opening the way for full Senate debate on the bill.

It could have come crashing down Saturday night. But it didn’t.

Democrats squeaked out the 60 votes needed to open debate in the Senate, and the health care reform end game is now on.

The end of this story is still unknown. There are money issues: Who will pay? There are moral issues: Who will be covered? There’s the public option and abortion and deficits and all the rest.

And then there’s still the economy to deal with.

This hour, On Point: The end game in health care reform. And later in the hour, we’ll look at the Catholic Church, communion, the abortion issue, and a Kennedy in Congress.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Janet Hook, reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering health care reform.

Also from Washington, we're joined by David Cutler, a professor of applied economics at Harvard University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He was the original architect of Barack Obama's healthcare plan in the 2008 campaign, and he has continued to be an adviser on the health care bill.  He's author of "Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System."

Abortion and the health care debate:

In our final segment this hour, we look at how abortion has ended up right in the middle of the health care reform debate. Under strong pressure from the Catholic Church, the House adopted an amendment banning federal funds from abortion coverage. This weekend, Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy went public, saying he has been under pressure from his bishop not to take communion because of his stance on abortion.

Joining us from Washington is John Mulligan, Washington Bureau Chief for the Providence Journal. He broke yesterday's story on Kennedy and the Bishop, and has the followup this morning.

And from Chicago we're joined by Scott Appleby, professor of history at Notre Dame and director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

 

This program aired on November 23, 2009.

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