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How Pelosi will game the Stupak 12

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has warned that he and other pro-life Democrats are ready to kill health-care legislation unless the pro-abortion provisions enacted by the Senate are removed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must win their votes to pass her bill. To do so she will have to promise two things: first, to fix the provisions they oppose in a reconciliation bill; and second to get an iron-clad commitment from Senate Democrats they will vote to sustain whatever deal she makes.

The problem for Stupak and his allies is that such a guarantee is not enough to ensure their position prevails -- because Senate Republicans are gearing up to use something called the “Byrd rule” to blow up any deal Pelosi cuts to pass health care in the House. And in the end, that would be just fine with Pelosi. She wins either way. Here is how:

In order to get a reconciliation bill with the fixes they demand to the Senate floor, Stupak and his pro-life colleagues must first vote to pass the original Senate health care bill -- including the abortion language they oppose. Only after this bill is passed in the House can the chamber then take up a reconciliation bill and send it to the Senate for its approval.

That’s where the “Byrd rule” comes in. Designed to protect the rights of the minority, the Byrd rule allows any Senator to raise a point of order demanding that “extraneous” (non-budgetary) provisions be removed. According to former Senate parliamentarian Bob Dove, “If a ‘Byrd Rule’ point of order against a provision is sustained, the provision is stricken from the bill….Appealing the rule of the chair requires 3/5 vote of duly elected and sworn Senators (60 votes).” (This process is known colloquially in the Senate as a “Byrd bath” and the dropped provisions are known as “Byrd droppings.”)

Republicans intend to raise points of order against the reconciliation package. They believe it is virtually certain that the Senate parliamentarian would find any abortion deal Pelosi makes with pro-life House Democrats to be “extraneous” (there is no reasonable way to argue the provision is primarily budgetary). So any abortion deal with Stupak and his allies would be struck from the bill.

That might only be the beginning of the bill’s unraveling. To pass health care, Pelosi will have to cut all sorts of deals in a reconciliation bill to bring along conservative “blue dog” Democrats. Using the Byrd rule, Republicans will proceed to pick apart every element of these deals Pelosi makes, piece by piece. It is unclear which provisions would survive scrutiny under the Byrd rule. But each time a point of order is sustained, it requires 60 votes to overturn that ruling -- which means Senate Republicans have the votes necessary block key elements of the reconciliation package.

If this happens, the amended reconciliation bill would go back to the House , where Stupak and others would then likely oppose it. Reconciliation would be dead.

That would be fine -- except for one small problem: Stupak and his allies will have already voted to pass the original Senate bill, which Pelosi could send to the president at any time for his signature. And that would suit President Obama and Speaker Pelosi just fine. Indeed, it might be their preferred outcome. Once the Senate bill is approved, the president and Democratic Congressional leaders have little incentive to pass a reconciliation bill. Think about it: Does Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid really care if Senate Republicans stop the House from amending the Senate’s already approved health care bill? He probably hopes they succeed. And if the reconciliation deal is killed in the Senate, Pelosi who would be able to tell Stupak that his complaint is not with her, but with the Senate Republicans. She would send the Senate bill to the president and he would sign it into law.

The bottom line: Stupak and the blue dog Democrats in the House have no leverage if they go along with Pelosi in a reconciliation strategy. The only way they can ensure that the abortion language and other provisions they oppose are eliminated is to reject reconciliation entirely -- and demand that the House and Senate start over with clean legislation.

By Marc Thiessen  | March 5, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Keep your foul trap shut and go away, torture-lover.

As for Stupak, the C-Street cultist, he is as repugnant as you are, being willing to potentially harm millions of people to save his pathetic political hide by latching on the abortion issue. You two should be sent to Gitmo. You are domestic terrorists.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | March 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

There need by no Byrd droppings, nor will there be, if the House dummies vote on this first. Why? Because, as the Post is finally reporting, if the House votes on the Senate bill, the Senate bill can go to the OBamanation for signature and there will be no reconciliation. House Dims should not trust the Senate or their own leadership.

It's all craven, it's all corrupt, it's all against what the MAJORITY of Americans want.

And to those who say, oh but there will be lots of subsidies to make it affordable Where the f? do you think the subsidies come from? The subsidy fairy? No, they come from the taxpayer. So they will rob Peter to pay Paul.

In other words - it all comes out of OUR pockets.

Just say no Stupak.

Posted by: bandmom22 | March 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

And let me guess, you are all for this sleight of hand manuvering. This is a disgusting way to pass health care. There is a need to revamp the health care system, but this is not the way to do it. An underhanded, backdoor way to get what you want shows a Democratic party lacking in leadership or morals.

Posted by: jay441 | March 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, fine, but I missed the part where Stupak just arrived in DC on a turnip truck.

Posted by: igorok | March 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't medical procedures between a doctor and patient? Why are the senators injecting themselves into a person's health care.

Posted by: rlritt | March 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Excellent work, Mark, as always.

In order for the Stupak group to be off the hook, they need only ask for a promise of reconciliation from the leadership, knowing they won't get it in the end.

1. They can say they insisted on its removal and claim to disassociate themselves from the D party for purposes of re election.

2. When the entire crap sandwich is signed they can deny having supported it.


Posted by: Honest1 | March 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

um, rlritt-- are medical procedures between doctor and patient now? Of course not! As a taxpaying US citizen,would you rather an accountable government group make funding decisions (which at least theoretically has health outcomes and the citizens' best interests at heart), or an unaccountable private, for-profit entity that maximizes profits by denying care (which ought to, like any profit-making business, have money, and only money, at heart)? That's the real choice. The only folks who benefit from private for-profit commodity health care are the health insurance companies' stockholders. And they don't benefit health-wise, just financially. Don't be an idiot.

Posted by: nikFlorida | March 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ya know, it IS a crap sandwich. To be honest, it's a crap sandwich because obstructionists have insisted on all sorts of "provisions" that make the plan cumbersome and disingenuous. But I, for one, would rather eat a crap sandwich than go hungry. I don't much like this bill either, but I don't mind it as much as I mind the status quo. I think a lot of citizens who are "opposed" to specific legislation feel this way (and poll data supports that contention).

Posted by: nikFlorida | March 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I heard recently on NPR Rep. Stupak noted that there are eight provisions in current Federal law prohibiting federal money going to fund abortions. He says all the House has to do is repeat one of these provisions in the health care bill to satisfy him and his group. So if we have the provision EIGHT times, why do we need yet another? And the same ones as are already enacted? Sounds like grandstanding to me. Thanks, bye

Posted by: lemongrover | March 5, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Those nefarious Republicans will stop at nothing to obstruct the will of the people with their procedural rules designed to create Gridlock.
How could Republicans elect Senator Byrd.
Ooops, Senator Byrd is a Democrat.
Never mind.
So, we have Dems: Pelosi, Reid, Stark and Obama all frustrated by fellow a Dem, Senator Byrd. The gang that couldn't shoot straight.
Another "Inconvenient Truth" brought to you by the Democrat party.

Posted by: jfv123 | March 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Those nefarious Republicans will stop at nothing to obstruct the will of the people with their procedural rules designed to create Gridlock.
How could Republicans elect Senator Byrd.
Ooops, Senator Byrd is a Democrat.
Never mind.
So, we have Dems: Pelosi, Reid, Stupak and Obama all frustrated by fellow a Dem, Senator Byrd. The gang that couldn't shoot straight.
Another "Inconvenient Truth" brought to you by the Democrat party.

Posted by: jfv123 | March 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, what a terrible dialogue on this message board, yet, in its own roundabout way wonderfully insightful. What can be learned from this "discussion"? Our representatives are doing a pretty good job of representing the American people - uninformed and incapable of meaningiful discussion largely due to their penchant for posturing and name calling.

Posted by: MissAnnThropy | March 5, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the problem is the "nefarious Republicans" as much as it's the spineless Democrats. If they can ram this thing through with 50+1 via reconciliation, why couldn't they do it with 60 in 2009? Oh, right... because it's a "crap sandwich". And they know it. Look, I respect and admire Pres. Obama -- I mean that -- but he's being disingenuous here. His whole argument for reform was to "bend the cost curve". But this bill doesn't nothing to reduce or even slow the growth of costs. It does provide universal -- read that as mandatory -- coverage. And it funds abortions, albeit in ways the circumvent the Hyde amendment.

If you're for universal coverage, this bill is for you. But any claim that the purpose is to save the economy and reduce the deficit by limiting costs is simply false.

Posted by: outsider6 | March 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't medical procedures between a doctor and patient? Why are the senators injecting themselves into a person's health care.

Posted by: rlritt
Are you leaving out the insurance companies rationing of care on purpose or are you just naive?

Posted by: Emmetrope | March 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't medical procedures between a doctor and patient? Why are the senators injecting themselves into a person's health care.

Posted by: rlritt | March 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

This fight is over who pays for them - the individual or the taxpayer.

Posted by: delusional1 | March 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

There has been a great deal of discussion recently regarding whether or not some form of partial federal subsidy for future health care premiums might constitute “government funding” of specific health care procedures, especially abortion. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has been particularly vocal in this regard. It seems to me that the proposed legislation would be little different from one important aspect of our current “funding” situation. That is, the effective subsidy of employer-provided health insurance premiums by virtue of their tax-exempt status.

By exempting employer-provided health insurance premiums from federal income tax, the federal government forgoes revenue it would otherwise be eligible to collect, thus subsidizing those policies and ultimately the care provided as a result of those policies. It has not been federal policy to regulate the details of what those policies might cover, in spite of this direct financial interest. The health care reform legislation currently under consideration would provide only a partial subsidy of some insurance premiums, with the same result as the current tax exemption process.

Some say that facts rarely get in the way of a political argument, but in this case the situation seems clear. The proposed health reform legislation provides no more federal funding of insurance policies than is currently in practice. Unless we decide the current tax exemption policy warrants a federal interest in the specific details of health insurance coverage, then the new proposed legislation does not, either.

Posted by: bifocal | March 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Government is not the solution here, it is the problem. Government has never been accountable and new bureacracy managing Health insurers will destroy health care. Private companies, when operating in a competitive market, are accountable because they have to make a profit and provide the best value to keep customers. If government restricts the market or forces the companies to practice bad business either costs will skyrocket or companies will fold. Democrats probably see this as a great outcome because they can claim that the market failed and use that as an excuse to pull the entire HC industry into government thus gaining tremendous control over everyone's lives. The truth is that government is what is failing. Government cannot create wealth so continuous expansion is unsustainable and will never be the means to ensure the greatest prosperity for the most citizens.

Posted by: AfghanVeteran | March 5, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Great so we have have 40-50 million people who get to suffer because of evil anti-abortion fanatics & their corrupt political leaders.

It's fairly disgusting that theoretical people are more important than living people. However that pretty much goes with theology & politics that's unanchored from reality.

These people can whine about abortion when Jesus shows up and tells them to do it on CNN. Until then I'm going to consider them a pile of freaks who engage in this behavior in order to avoid hard problems in the real world.

Keep filling your house with abortion financing communist made crap and hating your own fellow citizens for expressing a majority opinion that does not agree with your own. I'll keep viewing you through the lens of your own hypocritical decisions, and not agreeing to drink your Kool-Aid.

Posted by: Nymous | March 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

bifocal -- nothing like a juicy rationalization to butress a flawed argument. Money that is not collected as tax revenue can't be re-directed to fund a procedure that I can't in good conscience support.

Nymous -- though I'm vehemently opposed to abortion, I support the right of a woman to make what must be a painful decision. I just can't support the notion that my tax dollars pay for it. That doens't make me a fanatic any more than it makes you one for your willingness to forfeit one potential life in favor of another. We disagree. That doesn't make either of us horrible... it just means we care enough to have an opinion. Your concern for the 30 or so million lacking insurance is admirable. I share that concern. I just believe there's a better way to provide for them.

Posted by: outsider6 | March 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

He torture boy? You're an embarrassment to your nation and your faith. Your advocacy for torture spits on the memory of George Washington and Jesus Christ at the same time. If you weren't such an amoral piece of human refuse, you would have the decency to find a nice cave to hide in for the rest of your days. Instead you advocate for more war crimes by bringing up Catholic doctrine.

You obviously do not believe in God. If you did, you would fear his wrath at the end of your days.

Posted by: jjhare | March 5, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why the seniors in this country are not more vocal about this health care bill. Obama wants to cut 500 billion dollars from medicare to fund his program. How is that going to help the seniors? Why is it that AARP is supporting this bill when they know it's not in the best interest of the seniors? Is it because the people at the top in this organization supported and voted for Obama?

Posted by: TerryVA | March 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Just to top it all off, Mr. Thiessen offers nothing interesting in this piece. He simply offers old analysis and Republican talking points. You'd have thought that if the Post was going to hire another torture supporter, they'd at least get one who was interesting. I guess the bar is set abnormally low for torture supporters.

Posted by: jjhare | March 5, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

jj -- you say "torture supporter" like it's a bad thing...

Posted by: outsider6 | March 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Marc, you are wrong. Why would the Republicans obstruct provisions that make the crap sandwich more palatable to their constituents(the Stupak ammendment)? A little dijon mustard to mask the underlying reality. Its more likely that Democrats will obstruct the reconciliation of the Stupak ammendment.

Posted by: robbeking | March 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen, and the republican tea baggers keep bring up that the majority of the nation is on the right. In 2008 the US voted and gave the Dems a majority to implement a National Health care bill, turn our nation into an energy self reliant country, where we don't have to rely on going to WAR in other countries to protect our dependence on oil. We also want a cap and trade bill to save our earth from the greed of corporate america. We the majority voted for a country united in our humanity, asking for a fair and just Immigration reform bill. Stop lying about a majority the Moral Majority was neither.

Posted by: purple571 | March 5, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Not to go off on a tangent, but is Rep. Bart Stupak stupid? I mean the 1st Dist. in Michigan has a median income of just over $34,000. The state has an unemployment rate of over 15%. This is a state that could benefit from expanded access to health insurance. Why is Stupak trying to scuttle it? Anti-abortion provisions have been added in both houses of Congress. Stupak could let the issue lie and benefit his constituents without political harm to himself.

Meanwhile, uninsured pregnant women don't get the pre-natal care they need and their "unborn babies" die in utero or at birth. So much for protecting life from the moment of conception.

And there was Stupak, a Democrat and practicing Catholic living in the C Street House amongst Republican evangelicals who apparently subscribed to a doctrine of being Chosen by divine grace and therefore special and maybe even a little exempt from ordinary standards. According to Stupak he didn't have a clue that he lived in this sort of theological community. Did he also not have a clue about the adultery flu infecting fellow residents Sanford, Ensign and Pickering?

I mean, is Stupak stupid?

Posted by: cassandra9 | March 5, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

One of your scenario's is unlikely to happen.
The idea that Pelosi could just pass the senate bill as it is and forget about reconciliation and send it directly to Obama for signature. First, This scenario assumes that Stupak and others are dumb and stupid. They are not. They can also such trickery ahead. And, if such a step is taken, that will be the end of any future deals. The house and senate work on the basis of hand shakes and promises made and kept. Second, parliamentarians would argue that the bill in the absence of any reconciliation is not a bill at all since it originated in the senate and not in the house as it should have been.

Posted by: philly3 | March 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

And why would the GOP party of no kill a deal which makes it harder to get public funded abortions? Makes no sense.

Posted by: sux123 | March 5, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Marc Thiessen is an apologist for torture.

The Washington Post lost its last shred of credibility when they gave this disgusting swine a paycheck.

There is nothing else to say about this article.

Posted by: a_lafollette | March 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

god it's such a TORTURE to have to read whatever this hack writes. Why does the Washington Post want to TORTURE it's readers?

Posted by: hohandy1 | March 5, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

In my email to Congressman Stupak, I told him not to trust Satan's minions like the excommunicated catholics like Pelosi, Biden and Sebelius.(Canon Law 915) I hope and pray that Stupak and the Pro-Life Democrats are TRULY strong enough in their faith and morals to oppose Our President's Pro-Abortion/ No conscious clauses legislation. We are truly a pagan nation that denies the God given rights of the unborn child. Margaret Sanger is cheering on Democrats from HELL! "In his hand is the soul of every living thing and the life breath of all mankind."(Job 12:10)

Posted by: 2Timothy3 | March 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Keep your foul trap shut and go away, torture-lover.

As for Stupak, the C-Street cultist, he is as repugnant as you are, being willing to potentially harm millions of people to save his pathetic political hide by latching on the abortion issue. You two should be sent to Gitmo. You are domestic terrorists.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | March 5, 2010 10:29 AM

Looks like SOMEONE forgot to take their medication today.

I think a strong dose of clozapine is in order.

Believing everything MSNBC tells you is really hazardous to sanity and rational thought.

Posted by: etpietro | March 5, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

A lot of nonsensical dribble here about the "majority." Look at the polls. The majority don't want this massive thrust towards nationalization. They don't want fantasy based global warming BS cap and tax either. In fact they are also pretty tolerant of doing what it takes to get critical info out of murdering terrorists. This president was elected by concealing his far left agenda. He has lied about every one of his plans. No tax increases for those under $250K, transparency, practical bi-partisan solutions. All BS. But I must admit I am happy he lied about a few others: GTMO closed, leave Iraq, cancel Patriot Act. Thankfully he's a one-termer.

Posted by: AfghanVeteran | March 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the House Dems will let 35 million continue to suffer without congress just to insist the US taxpayer fund abortions. NOW should establish a national abortion fund to help those in financial need (they've got some pretty rich supporters). Problem solved, health care reform passed.

Posted by: msully25 | March 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Hey Thiessen, we are having a water boarding party tonight. Wanna come?

Posted by: brandonesque | March 5, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse


If the "Majority" wants this reform in this fashion, why is it the Dems couldn't pass it when they had a 60-vote majority?

Oh... right. The first Obama-set deadline for passage was summer 09. But when congressmen returned to their districts during the summer recess, they got bombarded by the angry "minority". Then the deadline slipped to Thanksgiving, then New Year's, then the SOTU. Then Dems lost TEDDY KENNEDY'S seat to a Republican!

And here we are. March 2010. Still no bill on the President's desk. Why? Because the independents who normally vote Repub but gave Obama the nod in 08 are making it clear: pass this bill at your own risk.

Posted by: outsider6 | March 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

To 2Timothy3: you used the phrase "Our President's Pro-abortion....." There is no such thing as being "pro-abortion." It is Pro-choice; that is not at all the same as "pro-abortion." I'm certain you know the difference but are trying to inflame the discussion.

You might want to give some thought to what it means to be truly pro-life. How could someone who claims to be pro-life oppose getting health care for the 45,000 who die every year from having no health care? Why would an unborn fetus have value and those living folks have no value? That is the height of hypocrisy.

Posted by: brock214 | March 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

To TerryVA: get your facts right. Just because Republicans talk about cuts in Medicare Advantage as though that is the same as Medicare itself. Medicare Advantage members are in a sense getting two subsidies. Medicare is making payments to private health care companies to provide Medicare services and they pay 14% more than through Medicare itself. That is crazy and of course it needs to stop.

Also there are people on Medicare who can afford to pay the full amount for their supplimental but they are being subsidized. This, too, should stop. The subsidies are for folks who cannot afford the supplemental.

Posted by: brock214 | March 5, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Brock: Not having health INSURANCE is not the same as not having health CARE... sounds the only one trying to enflame is you. Also, those with no health insurance make their own choices as to whether or not to seek treatment. While no one should ever die from lack of care, by law all people who show up at an emergency room must be treated. Unborn children have no such protections. Don't lie and obfuscate then accuse others of hypocrisy...

Posted by: outsider6 | March 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The Senate rulings that matter are the ones made by the chair. The duty of the parliamentarian is to offer advice to the chair--not to make independent rulings.

Posted by: publius1 | March 5, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Stupak is in the driver's seat and will be able to lay claim to killing healthcare reform. If his democratic base does not like what he is doing, he will be welcomed by the GOP.

Posted by: tmd678 | March 5, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Why does Thiessen have the Naval War College on his bio? He graduated from Vassar and apparently attended one remote-site course from the school. That amounts to about 7 out of 30 credits needed for the degree. With absolutely no military or intellegence service in his background, apparently he feels that puffing the one course he attended will burnish his image on national security. Doesn't work.

Posted by: shogun_5 | March 5, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The Stupak 12 are the lowest forms of life. They need to be out of public office and return to their Taliban caves. It is time for public option with reproductive services.

Posted by: revbookburn | March 5, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse


"Keep your foul trap shut and go away, torture-lover."

Real classy - you've swayed me to your antediluvian point of view! Resistance is futile! Reminds me of the old Ring Lardner line: "Shut up, he explained."

Posted by: rbaker4316 | March 5, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The point of this post is obvious--"Stupak, don't be Stupid! Don't go along with Pelosi's efforts at accomodation! They won't work! You'll end up being the fool in a pro-choice con game!" Stupak has heard this message loud and clear, and he's bound to hear it many more times before he casts his vote.

Problem is, "starting over with a new bill" is even more of a ruse. "Starting over with a new bill" means no bill this year, which means no bill for a very long time, and Thiessen knows it. That's *the whole point* of saying "start over". But Thiessen won't say that because the Post doesn't hire honest analysts anymore, it mainly hires hacks echoing talking points. Bart Stupak is being vilified by much of the left, but he actually wants some kind of health care reform to pass. So he'll probably listen to Pelosi, not Thiessen.

Posted by: jjohn2 | March 5, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

americans shouldn't have to pay more in taxes because religious people oppose abortion.

every american knows a $300 abortion is 100 times cheaper than all the additional financial strain UNWANTED births place on society.

keep religion out of the debate.

promote more abortions!!! it's 100 times cheaper to ALL the taxpayers than forcing poor women or other women to have unwanted births -- and then have to pay $billions more in the longer term.


Posted by: FranknErnest | March 5, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Is Stupak "Pro-Life" or just "Anti-Abortion"? If he is "Pro-Life", then he will vote for this health care bill as it will prevent the deaths of thousands of Americans who are currently alive and already born who otherwise will die this year from lack of health insurance. And he will vote for the bill to provide prenatal care to pregnant women as well as pediatric care for their newborns. The lack of medical insurance is a major cause of premature births and the very high infant death rate in the United States.

On the other hand, if he is just "Anti-Abortion" then he will continue to block health insurance reform and insist that no woman can buy insurance that covers abortions even with her own money. The Senate Bill prohibits government payment for abortions but allows a woman to buy a separate policy with her own money that would include abortion coverage. Not anti-abortion enough for Stupak.

The MAIN reason that women choose abortions is because they are too poor to support a child. The choice between a $500.00 abortion and a $10,000 hospital and doctor bill for a delivery is often the deciding factor. If Stupak kills this health care bill, then a lot of women will be forced to decide for an abortion as they cannot afford the medical costs of delivery and infant care.

So is Stupak "Pro-Life" or just "Anti-Abortion"?

Posted by: abowers1 | March 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: twotimetuna | March 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Prochoice=promurder, just sounds better when you have a "choice"! The women had a "choice" in the 1st place!

Posted by: houston123 | March 5, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

So the Repubs can stop reconcilliation by opposing a pro-life amendment. Boy, THAT'S going to look great in the upcoming election.

Posted by: 20steveltd | March 5, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

DeMint said that President Obama's failure to pass health care reform legislation will be his "Waterloo." Republicans are working hard at making that DeMint wish come true. If the legislation falls by the wayside, joyful Republicans will be a spend an imaginary day in Disneyland. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Democrats that are also finding excuses not to vote for the legislation. I guess they are all listening to the "American people" who say they don't want the health care proposal that the president is pushing. Of course, the "American people" that these politicians are taking about are lobbyists, who paying these disagreeable politicians to remain stubborn. However, if the legislation does not pass, it will not be President Obama's Waterloo. His decisions are not based on getting reelected, a fact he has stated many times. When he leaves office, as a one-term president or as a two termer, the president will be able to look himself in the mirror, knowing that he did the right thing, and tried to make the right decisions for America while in office. That chore is worth applauding.

Posted by: sipeppy | March 6, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

The Post is forever tainted by its enthusiasm for bringing in deceitful torture-lovers and offering them whatever remains of its once-substantial credibility. It is disgraceful.

Posted by: sembtex | March 6, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Will Stupak help Obama and their comrades FOOL people again?!! No amendment l can transform a criminal scam like Obamacare into an honest bill. Any "amendments" will be just tricks, like the Stupak amendment, to force us to swallow the scam.

The Stupak amendment was just another trick used by Obama and his Comrades to pass the Obamacare SCAM through the House. Tricked by the amendment, some Catholics (not all) actually believed the lies of Obama and his accomplices regarding abortion coverage! Tricked by the amendment, they failed to look at the evil behind the whole Obamacare scam.

Informed Americans, however, understand that, if Obama gets his way, Obamacare will FORCE us to pay for abortions, infanticide (late-term abortion) and probably euthanasia, in spite of Obama’s lies and tricks like the Stupak amendment.

Lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

We expect our Churches and our representatives to defend us from the Marxist Obamacare scam. We expect them to be courageous defend us from the whole Obamacare scam, not just the abortion part, in spite of the lies, manipulacion, intimidation, coercion, BRIBES, and fraud of Obama and his comrades.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 6, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Thiessen,

The fatal flaw in your analysis is that it is that the senate's president (Biden) is the final authority in the reconciliation process. Biden can ignore the parlamentarian's recommendations (thats all they are) and overrule any Republican poinnt of order brought against the reconciliation bill. As some have commented, never in the history of the senate has the VP ignored the parlamentarian's advice (which is why most people tend to think that the parlamentarian rules the process). However, neither has anyone ever attempted to pass a bill of this nature through the reconciliation process so you can bet that all bets are off (ha ha). Biden will simply solemnly promise Stupak that he will ignore the parlamentarian and overrule any Republican point of order.

Posted by: corrections | March 6, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse


Well, sure. So would euthanasia for every person who turns 65. That would save $453 billion in Medicare expenses, $678 billion in Social Security expenses, knock off a large portion of veteran's benefits and Medicaid, eliminate pension expenses for American companies, radically reduce private expenditures for health care . . . and that's just for starters. Imagine how much better off society as a whole would be if we took those with less than fifteen years to live and gave them death with dignity.

Now, there's the problem that the law currently considers the elderly living people. But that can be solved simply enough by changing the law. Got a way to arrange five votes on the Supreme Court to change it?

Posted by: ehrbar | March 7, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Thiessen joins the "Start over" Republican con game. Our nation has been starting over for decades. That's why Americans' health care system, as measured by the World Health Organization, stands -- stoops -- at No. 37, below such nations as San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Oman, Greece, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
So Thiessen and the Republicans urge us to chuck the health care bill and start over. So we can sink still lower.
What do you want to bet that Thiessen doesn't already enjoy good health care insurance for himself and his family?
I'm betting that he does, and figures bush the rest of us.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | March 8, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

jimsteinberg1, The World Health Organization rankings were not considered scientifically accurate. WHO stopped doing the rankings because they were to complex to fit into the models. They were last done in 2000, and the data they used was from the 1990's if I recall.

Posted by: win1 | March 8, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Some here suggest that the government could provide better, lower cost health care in the United States then health insurance companies can. As well the suggest the health insurance companies "ration" health care. Others suggest that private health insurance companies provide higher quality, lower cost health care.

In the sense that rationing is limiting or denying treatments available, then current government programs and private health insurance both ration health care.

Consider the current Medicare copays. Many procedures requre a 20-25% copay. Inpatient hosptial care is a 1,100 deductible for the first 60 days, after that $275 coinsurance per day until day 90, then $550 coinsurance per day until day 150. After day 150 you are responsible for all costs. Skilled Nursing facilites are similar.

Just like private insurers, after a certain point Medicare doesn't pay, and the health care providers no long provide health care because they do not work for free.

Posted by: win1 | March 8, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If it's by Thiessen it's no good. Bush apologist and Cheney Group Fellow. Go back to Stanford (the Hoov), rent a boat on Lagunita and go for a long swim.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 8, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution lists the powers of the Federal government. No where in that list, or anywhere else in the Constitution, is health care listed as an allowed power of the Federal government. The Tenth Amendment reserves all powers not listed to the states. Therefore, any Federal health care bill is, by definition, unconstitutional.

Our Representatives, Senators and the President all took an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true allegiance to the same." Any Representative or Senator who votes (or voted) for any health care bill and the President, if he signs it, have violated their oath of office and therefore immediately forfeit their legitimacy in office. They should immediately resign or be impeached.

Posted by: Turophile | March 11, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Shut up, war criminal.

Posted by: uh_huhh | March 16, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that someone like Stupack can take a position such as this. He is is simply a one note band. Granted, abortion should be a means of last resort, education, birth control, abstentance , all are means by which it can be avoided, or limited. I have only one question for Stupack, and that is if he is able to derail this legislation with his antiabortion vote, all in the alleged support of his pro life position, how many adults, and children will be doomed to serious illness, or even death over the coming years if health care reform does not take place. What is the cost to society in that event. Pass the bill, work towards a means of avoiding abortion, don't destroy lives in being by your selfishness, just to make a point. There are other, better ways of doing that.

Posted by: atc333 | March 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

We are behind you Congressman Stupak. This accompishment will take part if Americans (a majority) which do not want to see their tax money pay for other peoples elective Abortions ACT and contact their representatives. If the mojority of americans take action and contact their legislatures and spread the word, we will win this battle to keep our money from being used to pay for other people to have Abortions through direct funding,mandates,subsidies and looopholes.

Posted by: colleen10001 | March 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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