Abortion, Subsidies, ‘Cadillac’ Tax Remain Sticking Points in Health Reform Negotiations

BY Lea Winerman  January 7, 2010 at 4:12 PM EDT

Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi; AFP/Getty

President Obama met with House and Senate Democratic leaders this week, as the two chambers begin negotiations to iron out the differences between their versions of health care reform.

NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner talks to the Rundown about the state of the negotiations.

The president wants to sign a bill before his State of the Union address, but major sticking points remain — including finding compromise language on abortion, setting subsidy levels to help low and middle-income Americans afford insurance, and deciding whether to pay for reform by taxing the wealthy or by taxing expensive health care plans.

In the end, Rovner says, abortion may prove the toughest issue on which to find a compromise.

“That may be one of the hardest ones to split…. It may end up being the last thing they get resolved.”

Listen to more of Rovner’s analysis below: