Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) today asked his Democratic colleagues to stay united on health care reform legislation, and support the current version of the legislation even if they have objections to the abortion-restricting amendment he authored.
The version that passed the House 220-215 on Saturday contained an amendment offered by Stupak prohibiting funds for abortions in a public insurance plan, as well as any private plan purchased in a public exchange. This has angered over 40 liberal members, who say they will not vote for any House-Senate compromise containing Stupak’s language.
Stupak called on disaffected progressives not to be hasty, urging: “Don’t throw the fetus out with the bathwater.” He said his purpose was to ensure federal dollars didn’t support a legal medical procedure he objects to on religious grounds.
That, he explained, is also the key to providing affordable coverage for all Americans. “My amendment slashes health care costs, abortion proponents never mention that fact,” said Stupak.
Stupak said a section of his amendment prohibits federal funds or coverage purchased on a public exchange from paying for any kind of medical procedure. “This is out of respect for the beliefs of some Christian Scientists — I mean, come on, they pay taxes too,” he said.
Refusing to recognize illnesses means they would no longer exist — solidifying America’s position as having the world’s best medical system, and saving taxpayers trillions of dollars, Stupak said.
However, Stupak’s approach is opposed from the right as well as the left. House Minority John Boehner objects to Stupak’s bill, saying Americans need a minimum of level health insurance. “Insurance should at least pay for the poisonous snakes some charismatic Pentecostal sects use in faith-based disease prevention,” Boehner said.