President Obama told ABC News’ Jake Tapper today that Congress needs to change the abortion –related language in the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives this weekend.
“I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill,” Obama said. “And we're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions.”
Saying the bill cannot change the status quo, the president said “there are strong feelings on both sides” about an amendment passed on Saturday and added to the legislation, “and what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo.”
Read more from Jake Tapper’s interview with President Obama HERE .
In an exclusive television interview in the Map Room of the White House, Obama said that he was confident that the final legislation will ensure that “neither side feels that it's being betrayed.”
“I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test -- that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we're not restricting women's insurance choices,” he said.
The president was also asked about concerns that the Medicare cuts he proposes to help pay for health care reform would be undone by Congress subsequently, as is often the case with deficit and cost cutting measures.
“Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?” Tapper asked.
“ Yes,” the president said. “I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks.”