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Wasserman Schultz calls healthcare vote with anti-abortion plank 'painful'

Shortly before her town hall meeting today in Pembroke Pines, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz talked about Saturday's vote on healthcare legislation in Congress. The bill contained an amendment -- opposed by all Florida Democrats, even the two who voted against the overall bill -- that bans insurance companies that participate in the new healthcare system from covering abortion.

"I think the final bill will contain a compromise that is acceptable to both sides,'' Wasserman Schultz said. "We were very close in the House.''

Wasserman Schultz called the anti-abortion amendment "painful" but said she wanted to keep healthcare reform moving forward.

"It was simultaneously the best vote I have cast in 17 years in office and among the most difficult at the same time,'' she said. "I'm someone who has spent my whole career believing in not compromising my principles, and I had competing principles there."

Wasserman Schultz said she had no regrets having helped elect Democrat Suzanne Kosmas to Congress even though she voted against the bill. The Orlando-area congresswoman is considered one of the most politically vulnerable members in 2010.

"She understands the needs of her fiscally conservative district,'' Wasserman Schultz said. "I don't think Suzanne Kosmas votes on political calculation ever. She does what she thinks is right."