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The Stupak deal

The Stupak negotiations have been vaguely farcical from the beginning, as the bill is already very restrictive on abortion. But the upside of the farce is that the deal they've reached isn't particularly objectionable: Barack Obama will sign an executive order stating, essentially, that the law will follow the law. You can read the text of the directive here. And with that, Bart Stupak and his six holdouts will support the bill, pushing Democrats over the final threshold to pass the legislation. "We're well past 216," Stupak said at his news conference.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 21, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
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you mean those negotiations that included progressives calling his wife in the middle of the night threatening her and their family that forced them to AGAIN change their already unlisted phone number?

stay classy progressives!

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

and to that end the tea baggers that would think to call Mr Frank what they did are just as wrong and those that spat on a Congressman just as wrong too.

This argument is too partisan on both ends.

It needs to pass and then once it does we need to move as quickly as possible to actually reduce costs becuase not much in this bill does that.

Look to MA as the example. Now their costs are unsustainable. That's where we'll be in 3-5 years.

I also can't wait until we get to 2019 so we can see what it ACTUALLY cost.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Even I, the cynic's cynic, am starting to feel hopeful.

Posted by: scarlota | March 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

They needed a fig leaf, and they got it. S'fine with me.

Posted by: roquelaure_79 | March 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I heard Rep. Joseph Cao (the only Republican to vote for the House bill back in November) say on tv that, although his constituents support health care reform, he could not vote for it b/c of his conscience (about abortion). Now that the Stupak deal has been reached, has Cao indicated anyting otherwise? Will he vote for it or remain in opposition with the GOP?

Posted by: ScottChalleezy | March 21, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

watching the gop abortion response''
"the rights of the unborn"

what about the rights of the living?
in their perfect world,
being alive is more detrimental to your life,
than being unborn.

Posted by: jkaren | March 21, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

the next speaker says that this bill is a disappointment to the millions of americans who cherish the sanctity of life.....

what world are they living in?

Posted by: jkaren | March 21, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Executive orders are worth as much as the paper it was written on. Stupak sold his vote for an worthless piece of paper.. Shame on him..

Posted by: JForbes1 | March 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

i love how debbie wasserman schultz has become their new hero!

michelle bachman's heart has been broken.

Posted by: jkaren | March 21, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't really blame Stupak. After all, he's coming off a period where the President routinely used signing statements to say that the law would not follow the law.

Posted by: KenInIL | March 21, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The results of this health care decision will be horrible.

Posted by: servant119b | March 21, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"we're well past 216".

I highly doubt that. There are enough Reps who need to be worried that supporting this bill will cause them to be voted out. Even Pelosi would let them change their votes back if she's "well above 216"

Posted by: MBP2 | March 21, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Benishek for Congress.!/group.php?v=wall&ref=share&gid=287806148754

Posted by: Mary42 | March 21, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

This was a simple face-saving device for Stupak, who comes from a district (MI01) that has had a Democrat in the House since at least 1965 and has the same lousy employment picture as the rest of the state.

Some Democrats were quick to attack the WH for this maneuver--NOW was pretty nasty, in fact. The Democrats (including NOW leadership) will wake up tomorrow, however, and realize that, finally, they held together and won a big one. Details like the Stupak deal will be soon forgotten by the Ds, but long remembered by the Rs.

Posted by: nrglaw | March 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

It sounds to me like one of the things that Mr. Stupak was concerned about was that the Hyde Amendment is not yet permanent law - it is passed every few year in one bill or another. As long as this new Executive Order is in place, the Hyde Amendment will be able to apply to the exchanges. If Congress had failed to reauthorize Hyde one year, then plans with abortion services would potentially be available in the exchanges (if the bill passes). The exec order will go some way to allaying the pro-life concerns.

I believe that the substantive effect of these executive orders will be nil relative to the original Senate bill. That bill is likely to reduce the availability of abortion in exchange plans. I disagree with that, but this is a topic that deeply divides the nation. Pro-choice and pro-life policies have an uneasy detente, and perhaps that is how it will be for a long time.

Posted by: weiwentg | March 21, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@weiwentg, there's nothing stopping Obama from signing the Executive Order on Tuesday and then rescinding it on Wednesday.

That said, this just goes to show how politicized health issues will become in the post-reform era. You can bet that one of the first acts of any GOP president from now on will be to issue harsher restrictions on abortion funding (or birth control or other pet causes), and that Democrats will do the same. Just because the GOP opposed it doesn't mean they won't use the bill as a sword if it becomes entrenched. Consider that the Democrats largely opposed Medicare Part D in 2005, but are now touting the elimination of the "donut hole" as a major accomplishment with immediate benefits.

Posted by: KPOM1 | March 22, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

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