Rep. Stupak: Abortion not the only reason to oppose Senate health bill

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).


A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed an interview with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), in which he said he opposes the current Senate health care bill for reasons other than the issue of federally funded abortions.

Rep. Stupak said on Tuesday that if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi brought the Senate health care bill to the floor “It'd be very hard to vote for this bill even if they fixed the abortion language.”

When he was asked whether or not he would for the Senate legislation as is, the Congressman responded, “nope.”

Besides taking issue with the Senate health care bill providing federally funded abortions, Rep. Stupak said that the House version of the bill had tighter restrictions on insurance companies as well as new payment methods that would help doctors provide quality service – neither of which are in the Senate version.

The Michigan representative also takes issue with the fact that House members will have vote on the Senate bill without being ensured that the changes they've requested within the legislation will ever get approved. “You’re going to make members vote for a bill that’s going to be hung around your neck come Election Day,” he said. “After sending so much legislation to the Senate, we just don’t trust that they’re going to do it.”

Rep. Stupak still feels, however, that were Speaker Pelosi to present a finalized health care package, it still wouldn't pass. “I’m not optimistic they’d get the votes in the House,” he added.

The congressman stepped into the national political spotlight last year when he introduced an amendment to the House health care reform bill that maintained the Hyde Amendment ban on using federal funds to pay for abortions. The Stupak Amendment passed in the House by a vote of 240-194 last November.

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