Final passage of the Senate health care bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was facilitated by a last minute deal over abortion funding. Specifically, the President agreed to issue an Executive Order reaffirming limits on federal funding of abortion. As I read the E.O., it does not appear to limit federal funding beyond those limits that already existed in the Senate bill, and it could be repealed by any President at any time. Yet this E.O. appears to have mollified Rep. Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats and angered abortion rights groups. But does the E.O. actually make any difference? The full text is available here.
Note: I am not interested in the policy merits or demerits of the E.O., but opinions on whether the E.O. has any meaningful legal effect.