Kaptur backs health-care bill; measure likely to pass House


WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, one of the critical Democratic holdouts whose vote on health-care reform was uncertain leading to a final vote, said she will support the measure when it reaches the House floor later Sunday.

Miss Kaptur (D., Toledo) said the bill, a centerpiece of President Obama's agenda, will maintain a law that prohibits federal funding of abortions. “We have received assurances that we will be able to work with the Administration to assure that existing law is maintained — not to change it in any way, but to make sure that it applies to this bill,” she said.

The White House announced that Mr. Obama would issue an executive order after passage of the health-care bill that reaffirms current law barring taxpayer dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and a threat to the life of the mother.

Moments after the White House statement, Miss Kaptur, Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.), and five other anti-abortion Democrats announced they would back the health-care bill, giving it the votes needed to pass in the House.

“We're well past the 216 votes on the health care bill,” Mr. Stupak said.

Miss Kaptur said the bill will “create and foster competition” in the health-care insurance industry.

In a television appearance, Miss Kaptur said the health-care bill will provide families with relief from rising costs of coverage and maintain existing law that prohibits federal funding of abortions.

“The bill overall addresses a serious problem before the country today, which is that people are finding their insurance plans unaffordable. This bill will create and foster competition among all plans. Of course the insurance companies are fighting that tooth and nail,” she said.