Obamacare

Is Bart Stupak Ready to Flip?

|

(Stu)pact with the devil?

The single biggest hold up for health care reform right now is the language determining whether or not federal funding can be used to pay for abortions. When the House passed its original bill, it had to make a last-minute addition of language strictly prohibiting any federal funding for abortion in order to get enough votes. This became known as the "Stupak language," after Rep. Bart Stupak , the Michigan Democrat who worked with Catholic leaders to help craft the language. But that language was weakened somewhat in the Senate bill, and now a faction of about a dozen (counts vary) moderate Democrats, led by Stupak, is saying that they will not vote for health care unless they can attach abortion language that is equally strict to the original provision.

There are a couple of other battles going on in the House—most notably the one over cost control—but this is probably the single most critical fight. As Slate's Timothy Noah noted while counting health care votes in the House last week, it will be nearly impossible to pass reform without Stupak's faction.

So what are the odds that Stupak will flip? Right now, there are conflicting reports. This piece (via Americans for Prosperity's Phil Kerpen), in which Stupak seems to signal that he's looking for a way to compromise, makes it seem as if he's preparing to give in. That's not terribly surprising; the pressure on him to cave is no doubt enormous. But in another vote-count piece today, The Hill's Jeffrey Young and Bob Cusack report that "the Stupak abortion language is unlikely to be included in the final measure, leading some House committee chairmen to hold back their votes."

In other words, no one really knows for sure, and what we're left with is a waiting game. You can play along from home, though, with continually updated vote tallies from Real Clear Politics and Hotline/National Journal. ?

Update: As Philip Klein notes, it's not actually clear how the Stupak language would be added to the bill. The House doesn't have the option to amend the bill before the vote, so amendments to make it more palatable to House members would be added through the passage of a reconciliation fix bill. But reconciliation is probably not a good vehicle for making such changes. As Klein writes:

While there's been a lot of debate over the uses of reconciliation, there's been widespread agreement that abortion is one issue that cannot be addressed that way. And even if it were theoretically possible to impose Stupak language via reconciliation, it would still be difficult to get that passed through the much more pro-choice Senate. During the December Senate health care debate, Ben Nelson offered an amendment with the Stupak language, and the measure was tabled, having only received 45 votes in support.

NEXT: Will Justice Scalia Abandon Originalism in the Chicago Gun Case?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I can’t imagine any Rep from Utah could be elected after voting for federally funded abortion. Flipping has a 100% probability of ending his political career. Not flipping might allow him to win re-election and rehabilitate himself. Of course, if he doesn’t flip and loses anyway, he then has no friends and no position. If he flips, yeah his career is over, but I am sure the Chicago machine will arrange for him to have a nice soft landing in some do nothing high paying job. That is of course if he trusts them to come through a year from now after they no longer need his vote.

    1. “but I am sure the Chicago machine will arrange for him to have a nice soft landing in some do nothing high paying job”

      It’s the Obama Way.

      1. No no, he’s join Tom Delay’s lobbing firm.

      1. Ah, already cleared up. Sorry.

    2. but I am sure the Chicago machine will arrange for him to have a nice soft landing in some do nothing high paying job.

      All the highest paying jobs in government are “do nothing.”

      1. If only that were true. And the government jobs are really not high paying by Washington standards. They can set him up with a K street firm and a seven figure salary. No government job can compete with that.

  2. Bart stupak is from Michigan though

    1. I thought he was from Utah. I don’t know where I got that. Nevermind.

  3. Ladies and Gentleman your Sean Penn

    First Amendment be damned . . . If Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn had his way, any journalist who called Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a dictator would quickly find himself behind bars.

    Penn, appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, defended Chavez during a segment in which he detailed his work with the JP Haitian Relief Organization, which he co-founded.

    “Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it” said Penn, winner of two Best Actor Academy Awards. “And this is mainstream media, who should — truly, there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/enterta…..ainment%29

    1. Ah, the love of liberty once again shines out of the mouth, Lo Pan-like, of a celebrity liberal.

    2. Like the idea so much, Mr. Penn? Then by all means, feel free to move to Caracas, and live by your principles!

    3. It was just the beginning of a busy weekend for Penn. When asked on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” about those who question his motives for his humanitarian work in Haiti, he said:

      “Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah. You know, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on it.”

      Gnarly!

  4. So, this all rides on wheter or not Stupak will be suckered into believing that Nan and Skippy will ‘take care of his concerns’ in any manner other than the way a Semi takes care of a toad on an interstate.

    Lovely.

    Go for it, Bart, underbus yourself, and everyone else, too.

  5. The underlying problem is this:

    Anyone who votes for the Senate bill because it will be subsequently amended via reconciliation (that would be Stupak and anyone else who doesn’t like the Senate bill just like it is) has to trust that the amendment will in fact be enacted into law.

    That means trusting Nancy Pelosi to get an acceptable amendment through the House.

    That also means trusting Harry Reid to muscle through an amendment in the Senate.

    If the Senate makes any changes, that means trusting a conference committee not to dump the part of the deal that mattered to you.

    Finally, it means trusting Barack Obama to actually sign the amendment into law.

    You can draw your own conclusions, but realize this:

    Once the Senate bill is passed by the House, Obama will sign it, and health care will be done regardless of whether any amendment is adopted.

    Any amendment will only prolong the agony of the Democrats.

    1. The trust issue is indeed a big deal (Keith Hennessey has noted this repeatedly). And I may write a post on that problem at some point.

      But there’s no evidence yet that lack of trust is a definite deal killer. For all the moderate objections, many House Democrats do seem to genuinely want to pass a comprehensive reform bill, and with some sort of reconciliation assurance — say, a letter signed by 51 Senators — there might be enough trust to make it happen.

    2. It also means trusting the Senate parliamentarian (which means also eventually Leader Reid and Senate President Biden) that the abortion amendment will be considered germane for reconciliation.

  6. Profile in Courage? Or will be made an offer he can’t refuse?

    1. I’d advise Stupak to stay out of the showers for a while.

      1. He may find the shower very relaxing

  7. With the number of “czars” we’ve got, Obama can promise every losing Dem a czar position where they can dictate regulations without the inconvenience of annoying checks and balances. It’s like your own little kingdom where you make whatever laws you want. That could be tempting.

  8. The Democrats realize that if they pass the bill there is no way the senate can make changes to it in reconciliation. All of the Obama promises in the world won’t make lawmakers stick their neck out for him. The bill is dead.

  9. I can’t believe how much they’re going to the mat for this. It’s become a thing unto itself; they must pass health care reform. I’m actually getting a little worried here; before, I thought no way this was going to pass. But they seem to have completely obsessed on it, and are willing to destroy their careers, just as long as they pass it.

    1. “”and are willing to destroy their careers, just as long as they pass it.””

      They will go to work for the insurance companies. If you make the laws complicated enough, the insurance companines will need compliance people to understand the rules.

  10. Another shining example of how lunatic social “conservatism” (aka American Talibanism) stands in the way of progress.

    1. Walking down a railroad track into an oncoming train, refusing to get off as it comes barreling at you, is progress of a sort.

      I know the Democrats have this belief that failure to pass this bill would be a disaster for the party–and they’re right about that, since they’ve thrown every ounce of political capital into its passage–but they’re completely ignoring the fact that the bill they’ll pass, if they can manage it, will be unacceptable to too many people.

      The Democrats may actually lose both houses. They’re that fucked up. Incredible, especially considering the crappiness of their opposition.

    2. tony,

      you should like american social conservatives more… they share with you a common vision of the state. You both dislike it when people are left to be free and you both wish to use the threat of violence against peaceful individuals to create the society that you deem to be moraliy superior. You guys should get drinks mroe often and talk about whcih values you wish to impose on the rest of us.

      1. I would hardly call the imposition of death by insurance companies “peaceful”. If wanting to prevent insurance companies from killing the poor for a 1/2-percent profit increase is “morally superior”, then call me that.

        1. Spoofing Tony is low guys. The only thing more useless than a spoof troll is a spoof spoof troll. This recursive madness must end.

        2. Tony’s sockpuppetteer, I’ve already informed you that you need to retire Tony and make Choad more human. Shit, man, if you’re not going to take my advice, what good are you? You’re here for my entertainment. Don’t forget that.

          1. “The land of the free” does not mean free to die unless you cough up the cash. Sorry that this is so amusing to you. Sorry for you, that is.

            1. You’re failing, dude. WORK HARDER.

              1. “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal health insurance.”

            2. PLAY FREE BIRD!!
              PLAY FREE BIRD!!!

            3. “””The land of the free” does not mean free to die unless you cough up the cash.””

              Actually, it does. Land of the free means no one should have to provide a service without compensation.

              You are free to refuse to provide a service for free.

          2. There is no real Tony. Does “Tony” ever jump in on a thread, bitching about some government action? Even joe or MNG agrees with us, sometimes.

        3. I would hardly call the imposition of death by insurance companies “peaceful”. If wanting to prevent insurance companies from killing the poor for a 1/2-percent profit increase is “morally superior”, then call me that.

          Have you ever heard of the concept of a total loss, Chony?

          Auto insurance companies sometimes declare vehicles a total loss, paying the cash value rather than paying for repairs. Or do you think auto insurance companies should pay $10,000 to fix a car worth only $6,000?

          1. Or do you think auto insurance companies should pay $10,000 to fix a car worth only $6,000?

            But…but how can you put a price on a human life? (sniff, sniff)(whimper, whimper)

        4. I would hardly call the imposition of death by insurance companies “peaceful”. If wanting to prevent insurance companies from killing the poor for a 1/2-percent profit increase is “morally superior”, then call me that.

          Have you ever heard of the concept of a total loss, Chony?

          Auto insurance companies sometimes declare vehicles a total loss, paying the cash value rather than paying for repairs. Or do you think auto insurance companies should pay $10,000 to fix a car worth only $6,000?

          1. Are you saying that people should be treated like total losses and you what? just pay the family rather than pay for repairs? That’s rather twisted.

            1. People should be allowed to reap the seeds they sow. If you didn’t save any money for health care, or you think it’s more important to have a Iphone than health insurance, it would be wrong not to allow them to receive that which they sowed.

    3. Free abortions for some, oversized novelty pleasure beads for Tony!

    4. Another shining example of how lunatic social “conservatism” (aka American Talibanism) stands in the way of progress.

      What is wrong with prohibiting public funding of elective abortions?

      1. Ah, I see. Uterine slavery for the poor; freedom for the wealthy. Call me skeptical about creating a two-tiered society where the poor are the breeders and the wealthy use them as wage slaves.

        1. Ah, I see. Uterine slavery for the poor; freedom for the wealthy. Call me skeptical about creating a two-tiered society where the poor are the breeders and the wealthy use them as wage slaves.

          Yeah, and it is also unfair that poor girls are unable to afford tittie jobs so that they could compete with the Kardashians.

          1. “””Yeah, and it is also unfair that poor girls are unable to afford tittie jobs so that they could compete with the Kardashians.””

            It is unfair. Having more more girls with bigger boobs would increase the general welfare of our nation.

            1. I’m pretty sure Sallie Mae will back loans of such global ambition.

          2. That’s right – the well-endowed should have to subsidize their flatchested sisters.

        2. and isnt it so unfare that rich people get to buy more clothing than poor people and more food and more electronics an dbigger houses and more cars and mroe vacations and so on and so on? Yeah that would be the whole concept of money tony… it allows you to buy stuff. So unless you want a wonderful little communist paradise (which i would doubt it if you said you do) some people are going to have the ability to buy more stuff than other people.

          And in this case in particular, if is even possible to have a middle ground on the abortion issue, having it legal but refusing to use public dollars for it is about as middle ground as you can get.

          Tony, why do you want to impose your moral beliefs on others? I’m telling you… you should go get some drinks with some social conservatives… you guys have a lot in common.

          1. you cen tell them to stop drinking cause they are using up healthcare dollars and they can tell you to stop drinking cause its imoral

            it’ll be a blast.

        3. How is it uterine slavery if they consented to sex? Everyone knows the consequences. If they were raped, that’s something else, but not all abortions are the result of rape. Most are the result of people not wanting to deal with the consequences of their actions…unless of course you’re at one of SugarFree’s favorite web haunts in which case every sex act is rape. Normal humans don’t think that’s true.

        4. So the government should alleviate the imbalance by culling these impoverished breeders before the wealthy can shackle them into wage slavery.

          Wait…..what???

    5. What the fuck does this have to do with conservatism? It is a shitty bill and everyone knows it.

  11. Wisconsin AG charges five with election fraud, two from ACORN

    The state of Wisconsin faced serious problems of election fraud in the 2004 election in what some of us at the time called “The Silence of the Cheese.” In the aftermath of the embarrassing scandal, the state pushed hard for reforms ? unsuccessfully at times, as with voter-ID laws ? and raised the enforcement profile for voter fraud. Before the 2008 election, Wisconsin’s Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm formed a special task force to combat attempts to pervert elections, especially in Milwaukee, where most of the problems occurred in 2004.
    Today, Van Hollen announced indictments in five cases ? including two felony indictments against ACORN for scheming to have registrants vote multiple times in November 2008. The AG released this statement today:

    more at:

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..rom-acorn/

    1. joe | October 17, 2008, 2:47pm | #

      God bless ACORN, out there registering 13 million new voters. They’re doing God’s work in some of the toughest neighborhoods in America.

      1. joe’s god is Gozer the Gozerian, so it’s not entirely fair to throw that quote in his face.

        1. OT: Screen caps for Fallout: New Vegas

          And yes, that Super Mutant is in fact wearing a wig.

          1. Fallout rules.

            Got Dragon Age: Origins–fun game.

            1. Did you ever play Mass Effect? Same company.

              1. I love Bioware. Knights of the Old Republic is probably my favorite game.

                Oh, and I have the first Mass Effect.

                1. I just finished ME1. I never played it for some reason. I found it way too talky the first time I tried, but DA:O turned me around on the style. I’m going to get ME2 this weekend so I have something to do while The Wife is in Florida for Spring Break.

            2. Really liked Dragon Age.

              Just finished Mass Effect 2 – very good.

              Starting Assassin’s Creed 2 now – Wow. Once you get through the rather tedious opening scene set in the present day, the Renaissance Italy stuff just totally rocks.

              1. Do you get to kill a Borgia or a Medici?

          2. Fallout 3 is probably my favorite game of all time. Maybe because it’s so realistic: lying and stealing your way through a radioactive Washington, D.C. that’s been overrun by ugly-as-hell super mutants? Around here we call that “Tuesday.”

            1. When are you going to do an article on Bioshock 2? You’ve got the perfect audience.

              1. I’m writing a very short review for a review sidebar in an upcoming issue.

      2. I agree with joe. Creating people out of thin air is God’s work.

        1. Right-thinking people should have multiple votes!

          1. It the only way to make up for historical oppression. How else will post-traumatic slave syndrome be eradicated?

            1. You don’t go far enough. The oppressor class should have negative votes. That is, whoever they vote for, ten votes are taken away from that candidate. For great social justice.

              1. But some of these privileged bastards might figure that they could vote for the candidate they didn’t want. It would be better just to tax anyone making more than the average income at a marginal rate of 100%. Only when everyone has the exact same amount of money will true liberty and freedom be realized.

                1. That’s why we have ACORN and the like to balance the scales.

              2. “”You don’t go far enough. The oppressor class should have negative votes.””

                Pretty soon everyone will vote on the Internet using the ever popular thumbs up, thumbs down format.

    2. These inditements weren’t against ACORN (the link has been corrected to fix this), but against two employees who ripped off ACORN by not doing their jobs.

      1. Management is responsible for the activities of employees on the job.

        If you’re a gas station manager, and one of your employees dumps gasoline into the sewer, you’re going to jail.

        1. So, if you own a store, and one of your employees steals money from the till, you will be arrested for stealing from yourself? Management would only be liabile criminally if they ordered, or knew or should have known, about the illegal activity. Civil fines and lawsuits are different.

          My point is that any organization who pays people to get voter registrations will have some people fake some of them because they are lazy. It’s part of the business. We just hear about ACORN because right wing people would rather organizations who register minorities would not exist so fewer minorities would vote so Republicans would win more often.

          The fake voter registrations that lazy employees submitted to ACORN were never used by anybody to vote. ACORN was ripped off just as much as the government was here.

          1. When one ACORN employee gives advice on how to break the law, that’s a bad employee. When more than a few do it, that’s systemic mismanagement that cannot be trusted to act in good faith for the community.

            Why don’t liberals who want better communities for the poor and minorities ever call the bad actors out on shit like this? It shouldn’t take clever conservatives with an agenda to uncover these actions. They should not be allowed to become normal for any good organization.

            1. The bad actors absolutely should be called out. They are the employees of ACORN, not the organization itself.

          2. My point is that any organization who pays people to get voter registrations will have some people fake some of them because they are lazy. It’s part of the business.

            Funny, then, that we don’t hear much about right-wing voter registration organizations getting busted for this stuff. Must be that right-wing media I keep hearing about.

            And if a passing fireman sees a gas station employee about to pour gas into the sewer and stops him, the manager is still culpable. If ACORN is giving people the opportunity to fuck with the election system with no supervision and no internal checks and balances, that’s their problem.

            1. Must be that right-wing media I keep hearing about.

              Like Hot Air?

    3. The ironic thing is, that Obama would have won easily without voter fraud, so it makes ACORN doubly guilty.

      1. There was no voter fraud. There was merely voter registration fraud, which resulted in no illegal votes being cast.

        1. Because, of course, this is ALL that ACORN and other people fixing elections tried to do. We uncovered everything. No fire with this smoke!

          A free society is about impossible to maintain when people willfully cover up wrongdoing by government and people trying to steal elections.

          1. ACORN never tried to steal any election.

            1. Uh, huh. There’s nothing at all suspect about that organization. Every allegation is simply a GOP plot.

  12. The bill is dead.

    Stop saying that. Every time somebody says, “This thing will never happen” it rises like the decaying zombie slasher in a crappy horror film.

    I am beginning to believe, as Epi said, that this has simply become an uncontrollable obsession for those guys.

    It may the sort of delusional compulsion which will ultimately lead them to dive headlong into a woodchipper, but unfortunately, even after the individuals are gone, the bloody stain will linger, drawing flies, and generally stinking up the place.

    1. They have a tame media feeding them lies like “the public is not angry about the shitty bill, but instead your inability to pass it.”

      A vote against McCain was only a vote for destroying the economy with collectivist twaddle in a few rare cases.

      1. If they do pass it and the Dems are destroyed in November, liberals are going to have to be pretty creative in coming up with an excuse to explain the loss and re-affirm that it wasn’t their fault and their policies are really popular.

        If they don’t pass it and lose, then liberals already have a pre-set myth to believe in; that the Democrats lost their majority because they failed to deliver on their promised health care reform that was the reason (not an unpopular war or a financial meltdown) that people voted them into office. But if they get what they want, it is going to be hard. But they will find some ridiculous lie to hold onto because no liberal idea is ever unpopular and no liberal ever responsible for anything going wrong. The fault is always that the losing politician was not liberal enough and the people were punishing him by voting for Republicans, who are by the way evil or something like that.

        1. Easy: they didn’t pass the bill back in spring 2009, while the opposition was on its heels, and allowing the process to linger on gave the eeeeevil insurance companies and GOP a chance to regroup and spread lies and disinformation among the electorate. That narrative is already pretty well-developed among the lefty media.

          1. If you read Bob Herbert today, a pretty reliable indication of liberal conventional wisdom, the story is that while health care reform is important, Obama is blowing it by not concentrating on the economy. The story will be that “Obamacare was great and popular but was passed at the price of not addressing the economy which cost the Democrats the election even though they passed such a great and popular bill instead”.

    2. Don’t underestimate the survival instinct of your typical congresscritter.

  13. There’s two bills here, really. There’s the Senate bill, and there’s the hypothetical amendment (has a draft even been made yet)?

    One way around the trust issue is for the House to amends the Senate bill and then pass it. The amended Senate bill would go to a conference committee, yes? When the conference committee reports it out, where does it go? Back to both houses for an up or down vote? I assume the amended Senate bill would be subject to filibuster and so this is a non-starter?

    If so, then we’re back to having the current Senate bill go directly into effect, with the promise that some kind of amendment (which I don’t think anyone has seen yet) will be made to it.

    That amendment will have to pass the House, a gigantic spectacle of right-left jockeying and deal-making pretty much on par with the original bill. Assuming it passes the House, . . .

    It will have to be reconciled in the Senate, a gigantic spectacle in itself, with Joe Biden overruling the parliamentarian on at least two major points of order (eligibility for reconciliation and cutting off amendments).

    So many opportunities for the amendment to die. An amendment which, at that point in time, is an open wound for the Democrats. They have their health care reform, so the temptation to just end the suffering will, I think, be overwhelming.

    At this point, I would say there is a 49% chance the Senate bill goes into law, and a 30% chance any amendment gets passed.

  14. I like the Dennis Miller analogy of the Dems, specifically Obama, crashing the healthcare reform plane on the carrier deck. I can see where these people are playing for history rather than the short term career. As many have said, if this gets through, it ain’t going back. And in that case, they can hold themselves up as those who altered the history of the US.

    To me, that really explains why in the face of such opposition by the American people that the Dems continue to press on with such stubborn vigor.

  15. I still find it extremely difficult to believe there are very many Democrats in the House who will actually fall on their swords (and forego re-election) at the behest of Pelosi, no matter how earnestly she assures them they will be handsomely rewarded in the Afterlife.

    That’s pretty much all I have to cling to; the petty self-aggrandizement of politicians.

    1. “That’s pretty much all I have to cling to; the petty self-aggrandizement of politicians.”

      That is usually about as safe a bet as there is. But sadly, nothing is a sure thing.

  16. if this gets through, it ain’t going back

    Maybe, maybe not. We might see a revolt at the state level. It could be repealed by a Republican Congress. Parts of it will be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court. “This isn’t the end. It isn’t the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    1. Really? A Millennium quote? Really?

      1. Millennium is like, gayer than me. Even I can admit to that.

    2. Indeed. If the bill is passed via reconciliation it can be repealed via reconciliation (though I fully expect liberals to paint such an action as a horrible violation of minority rights).

    3. We might see a revolt at the state level.

      Irrelevant and doomed.

      It could be repealed by a Republican Congress.

      You have a higher probability of growing wings, a horn, four silver hoofs, and flying around farting rainbows.

      Parts of it will be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.

      If a SCOTUS that will, at best, barely pull together the votes to strike down a blatant violation of the Bill of Rights in MacDonald is our best hope, we are doomed.

    4. “”It could be repealed by a Republican Congress.””

      They want health care reform too. It would not be repealed, just modified.

      I defer to RC’s comment below on the probability of republicans repealing it.

      1. Or in this case, above. Damn threaded comments.

    5. Repealing it would require the President’s signature. So you would require a Republican President as well. Having the House, the Senate, and the Presidency all become Republican is highly unlikely any time soon. Besides, we had that just a few years back-didn’t work out too well in a number of different ways.

  17. That’s pretty much all I have to cling to; the petty self-aggrandizement of politicians.

    Entire religions have been founded on less.

  18. It’s Winston Churchill. I didn’t know he wrote Millennium.

  19. Democrats won’t pay such a big price in November. However, since the House Democrats know the bill is not intended to lower costs but to eventually replace private insurance with medicare, they aren’t buying it.

    1. I lost the first part somehow. It was supposed to say: The media is saying the bill is so great the….

  20. Democrats won’t pay such a big price in November. However, since the House Democrats know the bill is not intended to lower costs but to eventually replace private insurance with medicare, they aren’t buying it.

    1. I give up.

  21. Great, the biggest holdup to the healthcare bill has nothing to do with the economic soundness of the country, or the quality of our healthcare, but some social conservative’s sticking point? We’re so screwed.

    1. A ‘sticking point’ which happens to be a sticking point for the Libertarian Party, as well.

      I’ve cited this before, but here it is again: the Libertarian Party blogthe Libertarian Party blog, giving a bullet list of why Joe Biden is so bad, had his support for abortion funding as the *first* item on the list.

      Not that you guys are all LP zealots, but at least you can’t accuse those guys of being social conservatives.

        1. Abortion funding was the first item on a list of Biden’s big-government positions.

  22. As a Democrat, I want them to fucking figure out if it can get passed or not. If it can be passed, great. If not, kill it right now, instead of farting around for another three or four months and having it eventually go down in flames. The longer the bill’s future is up in the air the worse for Democrats’ electoral chances-and for the country. It’s sucking all the air out of the room, preventing anything else from getting done. Now, I’m sure a lot of people here like gridlock-but I’m also sure that there are lots of other things they might like discussed (wars in Iraq and Afghanitan, closing Gitmo, whatever) that are on the back burner as long as health care is topic #1 (and #2 and #3 thru #47).

    1. “Now, I’m sure a lot of people here like gridlock-but I’m also sure that there are lots of other things they might like discussed (wars in Iraq and Afghanitan, closing Gitmo, whatever) that are on the back burner as long as health care is topic #1 (and #2 and #3 thru #47).”

      You find that to be a problem because you are serious about closing GUITMO and such. Since Obama is not serious about any of that and just played people like you for fools, it doesn’t really bother him that health care is taking away from those initiatives.

      1. I think candidate Obama was very serious about closing Gitmo. President Obama, however, found out it ain’t that simple. Nobody has figured out what to do with the group of people held there who are both dangerous terrorists (in the government’s/military’s eyes) and who can not be convicted in a fair, impartial court of law of anything. Obama would get his ass kicked by the public and the media if he does the right thing and simply release them, especially if one of them later blows something up.

        It’s problems like that that make me wonder why anybody would want to be president in the first place.

        1. I think candidate Obama was very serious about closing Gitmo. President Obama, however, found out it ain’t that simple.

          Huh? Did he crawl into a coccoon as a pupa on Nov 5 and come out a beautiful butterfly on Jan 20? It’s the same guy. I can’t tell the bank, well, contract-signer Tulpa was serious about paying back the loan, but payer Tulpa has found out it’s not so easy, and get away with it.

        2. In other words, if he was going to make a promise on the campaign trail, he should have thought through the process of fulfilling it. That’s what us ordinary people out in the world are expected to do when we make promises, but I guess those rules don’t apply to visionary purveyors of hope and change.

          1. He is guilty of promising things he couldn’t, on a practical matter, do. I agree with you on that.

            Although as president he might have had additional info about the topic that he didn’t have previously. For example, there may be somebody in Gitmo that the military/government is sure killed a bunch of people and would do so again if released, but can’t prove it in court of law. Candidate Obama wouldn’t know about this person, but President Obama would.

            1. Bullshit. Everyone knew that that was the problem in GUITMO. Everyone knew that there were lots of people down there that we knew were dangerous but probably couldn’t be convicted in civilian court. No way did candidate Obama not know that but I and anyone else who read the newspapers did.

              He was just lying.

              1. It’s one thing to know, on an intellectual level, that some of the people in Gitmo are dangerous, and another to have some general shove pictures of dead babies in his face and say-this guy did this, and it will happen again if you let him free, and you will be blamed. And you know something like that probably happened.

        3. “”I think candidate Obama was very serious about closing Gitmo. President Obama, however, found out it ain’t that simple.””

          Almost all candidates for President make promises thinking they can bring about change. But for the most part, they can’t. Congress makes the changes. When Ron Paul was on the Cobert show he was asked if he would get rid of the IRS. Paul responded that as President he couldn’t, but he would work with Congress to do so.

          Since Congress seems not interested in funding the closure of the prison at Gitmo, nor do they seem interested in actually closing that prison, Obama can’t do much about it.

          That’s not Obama’s fault, that’s the way it’s meant to work. Obama’s fault is making promises beyond the power of the President, but save Ron Paul, all candidates make promises based on power that doesn’t exist.

          1. Congress did block him from doing some of these things, but I believe he could easily order all of the prisoners there released on to the streets of DC if he wanted to. That would not be a very popular thing for him to do, though.

    2. Works out for me. Apparantly part of the senate deal was the death of cap-n-trade.

      Financial regulation is going to be the next sacrificial lamb.

      And it still won’t pass.

  23. I’m surprised that the Democrats didn’t preempt the abortion argument from the start.

  24. Knowing the Senate bill can’t be altered without 60 votes, if the Dems thought they could find the votes by any and all means, they would have done it by now. Surely, Pelosi could have convinced the far left members of her caucus they could later add stuff in other bills to fine tune it, in order to pass it. I don’t think they have the votes. At least that’s what I tell myself to help me sleep at night.

    1. But don’t kid yourself, every vote has a price. The only reason republicans are not on the bandwagon is because the dems haven’t given them enough of a reason $$$$$$$$$$. The solution to get more republicans on board is simple, send more pork or tax breaks to their districts.

  25. Bart Stupak flipped a long time ago. There are no abortions in the US that are prevented by the lack of federal funding. Stupak should talk to his Jesuit friends about the difference between incidental and material cooperation with evil. Vague language in the Senate bill *may* fall under the former, but standing idly by while tens of thousands of people suffer and die without health insurance is the latter.

    1. “but standing idly by while tens of thousands of people suffer and die without health insurance is the latter.”

      And completely screwing over the health care system and bankrupting the government in the process will have no ill effects. That statement is stupid on so many levels it is hard to respond to it. First, there is no evidence that 1000s are dying for lack of health insurance. Second, even if there were such evidence, there is such a thing as “first do no harm”. Just because something bad is happening, that doesn’t mean that any means is wise or justified. This is a terrible bill. Better no bill than a bill that does more harm than good.

      1. Here you go. It’s amazing what you can find out if you leave the law-of-the-jungle-economics echo chamber once in a while.

      2. http://pnhp.org/excessdeaths/h…..adults.pdf

        It’s amazing what you can find if you step outside the echo chamber.

      3. pnhp.org/excessdeaths/health-insurance-and-mortality-in-US-adults.pdf

        It’s amazing what you can find if you step outside the echo chamber once in awhile.

      4. It’s amazing what you can find if you step outside the echo chamber once in awhile.

        1. First, it is one study that correlation rather than causation. Second, it would be nice if you would address the underlying point which is even if it is true, there is nothing to say this bill won’t make things worse.

          You cite a million studies about the harms of the lack of health insurance. But that doesn’t address the underlying fallacy of your argument.

      5. “”but standing idly by while tens of thousands of people suffer and die without health insurance is the latter.””

        That’s exactly what our government suppose to do. Our government is founded on freedom and personal responsibility. Our government was not founded the idea that government takes care of the people.

        Why do you hate America? 😉

        1. No Vic. You don’t understand. When Forrest sees bad things in the world, it is his duty to rob you and take your money and go do something about it. Don’t you care about people?

          1. Hehe.

            It’s just wrong for me to care about someone more than they care about them self.

    2. You honestly believe the US Senate does God’s work by passing this bill? I’d sure love some sort of Biblical citation to justify this belief.

    3. Wrecking a system that works for a very large majority would result in more deaths, even if all of those you cite are attributable to our lack of socialized medicine, which, of course, they aren’t.

      If this is an echo chamber, at least we know it is one.

  26. standing idly by while tens of thousands of people suffer and die without health insurance is the latter.

    Well, thousands suffer and die with health insurance, government health insurance at that. Suffering and dying is every man’s fate.

    What you need to do is show they suffered more and died sooner because (a) they didn’t have health insurance and (b) this bill will remedy that. Good luck. Show your work.

  27. NEVER

    Here is what he just said:

    Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who earlier this week said he is optimistic there will be a compromise on abortion language in the health care bill, told the Weekly Standard yesterday that there is no such deal — not even close.

    “Everyone’s going around saying there’s a compromise — there’s no such thing,” Stupak said. He said that “the majority party can get [a deal] done,” but “no one has said here’s how you do it, here’s the legislative scheme.”

    He did say he had his first real meeting with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) about the language.

    Asked if his “optimistic” comment meant he would cave and vote for a bill that doesn’t include his preferred abortion language, Stupak said “Obviously they don’t know me.”

    “If I didn’t” cave in November, “why would I do it now after all the crap I’ve been through?” he added.

    Stupak, who has threatened to vote no along with 12 other unnamed congressmen over abortion, said he refuses to vote for the Senate bill as-is, even with a promise to fix it later.

    “If they say ‘we’ll give you a letter saying we’ll take care of this later,’ that’s not acceptable because later never comes,” he said.

  28. Dear Congressman Stupak:
    Be brave and don’t let those other dems fool you or wear you down. The future of America depends on a handful of votes. Yours is very important and we are depending on you to do the right thing.
    I like what President W. Bush said upon leaving office, “I feel good that I have left DC with my values in tact.” (or words to that effect) Think about your night’s sleep and what will mean the most to those who have no voice…God bless you!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.