Stupak to Vote Yes!
NBC News is reporting that Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, the leader of twelve pro-life Democrats who have refused to support the final health care bill until their concerns were met, has decided to vote “yes” on the health care bill. Stupak was in negotiations with the White House and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, working out the details of an executive order that would achieve a result that came closer to Stupak’s approach to enshrining prohibitions on the use of federal funds for abortion in a manner reminiscent of the Hyde Amendment. Stay tuned.
Let me also take a moment to say a word about Stupak. A week or so ago, I ran a post commending him for his constancy, even though I disagreed with his reading of the bill. He is a true pro-life champion no matter how you slice it. Someone posted a comment suggesting that Stupak's concerns on abortion were all a ruse to defeat health care. Whoever made such suggestions owes the congressman from Michigan an apology.
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Assuming the reported abortion modifications that come along are real- Congressman Stupack's holding our for the appropriate language action is looking to be the wise course. He will have done more for the pro-life movement then a lot of Catholic 'experts' who urged everyone to accept far less.
Alas, while I am pleased that the bishops and Stupack did not listen to you MSW or the CHA or the varioius religious sisters who told us to accept the Senate abortion laugauge, I still can not support this legislation.
We keep pretending that this law widens benefits ( it does) AND reduces costs ( alas it really doesn't) Everyone wanted legislation that addressed people losing medical insurance. That was a no- brainer. The challenge was to reign in costs so expanding coverage would not become back breaking to businesses and people. On this point it appears to have failed.
Read today's NYT op-ed page. The tax increases are real. The expansion of coverage is real. The former head of the CBO outlines almost 700 billion in ''savings'' that are baked into this plan to save money . Read them and honestly tell me if you believe they will occur. Timing differences, promises of long term care entitlement being offered with no offsetting costs since that won't happen for more years, '' even more transfers from social security taxes to fund health care , etc.
Look if someone says they don't care that we are imposing a crushing new entitlement program on the country but they think health care is a fundamental right so they don't care about the cost- I can disagree but at least respect they are honest.
To pretend this will reduce costs or not cost '' anything'' is disingenuous.
Have both parties used this type of slight of hand when they pass legislation- of course. We have done this for years in my home state of New Jersey. It appears that the budget people who pushed this type of accounting in Trenton for years have moved to the Potomac.
I think the bill as it is is terrible, terrible, terrible but it that is on prudential grounds, and so I can live with it if someone else makes another (though in my opinion wrong) judgement. However, there are objective lines that cannot be crossed. period.
So long as whatever they offered him brings about his goals in a way which is legally strong, I can accept deficient legislation.
It's going to be interesting to see what the attitude toward Stupak will be if the deal in the works at the moment results in passage of the bill tonight. I suspect that the USCCB and pro-life Catholics will consider it a victory and regard Stupak as a hero, and organizations like the NRLC will maintain that Stupak ''caved'' and betrayed the pro-life cause.