While he wasn’t invited to today’s White House health care summit, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) managed to get his two cents in about the state of the health care reform process on CNN today.Talking with Wolf Blitzer, Cao, the only Republican who voted for the House’s health care reform bill, said he could not support Obama’s health care proposal because it lacks abortion language like the Stupak amendment added to the house bill last year. Cao said:
At this point, I can not support the agenda being pushed, because of the federal funding for abortion. That was one my biggest issues in the original house bill, and once the Stupak amendment was passed… I was able to support the house bill. But the same language is not in the agenda that is being pushed by the President. Unless the abortion language changes, I cannot support the program.
When Blitzer asked Cao if he thought Democrats and Republicans could reach any kind of agreement on health care, Cao answered: “It is going to be extremely difficult,” before adding that “I’m still very hopeful. I hope that at the end of the day we can come up with a reform package.” Abortion, Cao suggested, was the major sticking point:
The health care vote in the house will depend on the abortion language. At this point, there are about 12 pro-life members who will not vote for the bill… unless that language changes, we cannot vote for the bill.