Local Lawmakers Debate Healthcare

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We are just hours away from the a major milestone in the battle over healthcare reform. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the almost $1-trillion plan tomorrow. Tonight, several Alabama lawmakers are telling FOX6 News they still plan to vote no, even as President Obama today came to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers.

"We have the chance to do something historic. We're just 24 hours away," Obama said. Wearing the smile of someone confident in his cause, President Obama seemed part cheerleader, part lobbyist as he made one final plea to democrats to finish off what he calls a historic achievement with a healthcare reform vote tomorrow.

No one is sure of the firm count, but everyone agrees the vote will be close Sunday. Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus told FOX6 News on Saturday he is still confident the plan won't pass.

"We don't think they have the votes," Bachus said. "We think with the funding for abortions, they may not get the votes. I like to be optimistic because I think this bill is going to cost Americans a lot of quality healthcare and I think it's bad for America, so I have to be optimistic."

Bachus says he saw a lot of Alabamians in a crowd of protestors today who marched on the capitol calling for this plan to be defeated. "They are ignoring the American people," Bachus said. "You don't pass something the American people clearly don't want in the face of such opposition. This isn't about a political win, we're representatives, this is the people's house, and the people have clearly spoken. We've got 25 or 30 thousand people up here today, a lot of them in Alabama or Auburn sweatshirts."

Both of Alabama's Democrats say they plan to vote "no". Rep. Artur Davis of Birmingham says the plan costs too much, but says he's not sure if his party has the votes to pass the plan or not.

"I'm not a prognosticator," Davis said. "If the bill is defeated, it won't be tHE end of healthcare reform. It will mean that the best parts of this bill will be taken out and moved separately that can be done at half the cost and a fraction of the complexity of this massive 3,000 page bill that very few people who are weighing in on this issue have had an opportunity to read or fully access."