Majority leader: House will pass health bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Majority leader: House will pass health bill

WASHINGTON. - Majority Leader Steny Hoyer predicts the House will pass historic health care overhaul legislation Saturday to extend coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and ban insurance companies from turning people away.

The Maryland Democrat said in an interview with wire service reporters Thursday that House leaders will have the 218 votes needed to pass the sweeping bill, presuming a couple final issues are resolved. He acknowledged that the vote will be close.

Hoyer said language on abortion and illegal immigrants was still being worked out but predicted those issues could be solved in time for Saturday's debate and vote on the legislation that President Barack Obama has made his top domestic priority.

Seniors' lobby endorses House Dem health care bill

The AARP has officially endorsed the House Democratic health care bill, a major boost for the legislation two days before a historic vote.

AARP Senior Policy Adviser John Rother said Thursday that the 40-million strong organization backs the House bill. He said the measure closes the coverage gap in Medicare prescription benefits, puts strict limits on what health insurers can charge older workers too young for Medicare and creates a voluntary, long-term care insurance program.

Officials with the seniors lobby said the organization lost 150,000 members since July 1 because of the group's support for health overhaul. But in that time, it also registered 2.7 million new members and renewals. Officials said they were confident their members would see the bill's benefits.

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