Stupak may yet bring down health insurance reform (updated)

Several undecided House Democrats came out in support of the health insurance bill today, but it's still not clear whether leaders have the 216 votes they need. Between six and twelve Democrats are in Bart Stupak's bloc, which will vote for the bill only if it severely restricts private insurance coverage for abortions. Chris Bowers thinks some "bullshit" compromise may peel away the few votes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs from the Stupak bloc, but a more disturbing possibility is taking shape.

Stupak is demanding that his amendment be voted on later as an "enrollment corrections" bill. The parliamentary procedure here is complicated, so I ask you to read David Waldman or David Dayen for an explanation.

Pro-Choice Caucus co-leader Diana DeGette claims that 40 to 555 House Democrats may not vote for the final deal if it includes a promise to enact the Stupak language separately. I assume most of those would cave, but if even five or ten stood their ground, they would cancel out the Stupak bloc members.

Given how much Democrats rely on women voters to win elections, it's amazing that they would sell out abortion rights to appease a few anti-choicers. Although the Catholic Bishops have opposed the health insurance reform bill, a major Catholic newspaper as well as groups representing Catholic hospitals and nuns are supporting it. Then again, after abandoning other core Democratic positions on health care reform (like letting Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices), what's another kick in the teeth for the base?

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offers what sounds to me like false hope of a separate vote on a public health insurance option. Such a vote would have to be attached to a budget reconciliation bill in order to have any hope of passing the Senate.

As far as I know, the dispute over Medicare reimbursement rates has not been resolved yet. Peter DeFazio has threatened to vote no if geographical disparities in Medicare payments are not corrected, and today Representative Bruce Braley's spokeswoman told me that he is undecided on the bill, in part because of that issue. Other House Democrats have also expressed concern, according to the Huffington Post. I doubt Braley will end up voting against health insurance reform, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Pelosi negotiate language on Medicare reimbursement rates that's closer to the House bill.

UPDATE: Stupak was supposed to hold a press conference Saturday morning at 11, but that was cancelled. I assume that means he and Pelosi don't have a deal yet, but who knows?

Tags: Congress, House, Senate, health care reform, health insurance reform (all tags)



Zero chance

There is zero chance of the Stupak amendment making it into law. If passed by the House it will fail reconciliation rules in the senate, if forced to be voted on for cloture it will fail to gain even a simple majority let alone 60 votes. And if it's a separate bill it will be vetoed by the President. And if it is possible that it can jump through all the hurdles then I don't see why we can have it and not the Public Option.

I place the best case scenario for Pelosi at 212-214 votes. I'm sure 2 of the Stup(id) coalition can be busted without caving.

by vecky 2010-03-20 12:02AM | 1 recs
RE: Zero chance

Even if it made it to the Senate, Biden also has the power to strike it down, by fiat. But there would be no historical precedent for such an action.

Exuding pessimism is common before major pieces of legislation are passed. It keeps those who might waverer in line.

You don't ever want to say you have the votes in a close vote like this, because it might give some of the cowardly democrats cover to prematurely jump ship. Just remember, Pelosi will not call for a vote if she doesn't have 216 votes. So if everything is moving ahead on schedule for Sunday, then just mentally cut through all the pessimism as Washington games.

I'm not concerned whether Stupak will sink healthcare. He won't. I'm concerned that a deal will have to be struck with him that undermines womens reproductive rights, and that such a deal will taint passage of this historic bill.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 12:48AM | 0 recs
ha ha

"if it is possible that it can jump through all the hurdles then I don't see why we can have it and not the Public Option."

You haven't noticed yet that Democratic leaders never go out of their way to deliver for their most loyal supporters.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-20 12:06AM | 0 recs
RE: ha ha

I feel the same level of frustration I did when the House passed the first HCR with Stupak. Personally I don't care any more if they do. The Recon bill will die in the senate but HCR will still have passed. Tough.

by vecky 2010-03-20 12:49AM | 1 recs
RE: ha ha

Not necessarily. The fear is that the Senate Stupak thingy would need only 51 votes. You get 10 conservadems, and you have problems. Again, Biden could strike it down by fiat, but there is no precedent for such a move.

This Stupak character makes my skin crawl. I thought Lieberman was a cretin. This guy is just as bad. I wonder if he'll make the connection when he's out of office in 2010?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 12:52AM | 0 recs
RE: ha ha

The Stupid amendment failed in the senate 52-46. It didn't even have 50 votes. Granted that was because Collins and Snowe voted to kill it, I doubt they will switch this time around.

Second under reconciliation rules it has to be budget related. Abortion is not, so the parliamentarian will strike it. To bring it back it will require 60 votes. So it won't happen.

I think Stupak is just trying to save face.

by vecky 2010-03-20 01:02AM | 0 recs
I hope you're right

Nobody is a fiercer defender of a woman's right to chose than Speaker Pelosi.

I think he may be looking for an exit. But I also think the guy's a cretin. I'd hate for them to have to even gesture towards him. The base is already so weary.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 02:07AM | 0 recs
RE: I hope you're right

They only need to pull two votes off the Stupak block to ensure passage.

If it wasn't for the stupid Dem's who decided to vote NO - Artur Davis, Altmire, Arcuri they wouldn't have to deal with the Stupak 10 at all.

by vecky 2010-03-20 02:22PM | 0 recs

I have been involved, a couple of times, in projects, or campaigns, that have just never went right. Not from the first day, and not for each day that the team plowed on thinking that it would turn.  Way past multiple deadlines, and everything, seemingly, sunk into it. Especially when its went so long, the hardest thing to do is pull the plug.

We have no idea how its going to turn out. I assume like most, that this is going to pass. I'm not a policy wonk, so other than knowing that some of the things in this bill are going to be political baggage in elections to come, who knows if its worth it-- even the truest adherents of the bill say something along the lines of its not that great now but we'll make it better later.

Maybe, but at some point here, if the corner isn't turned, a 'pull the plug' moment will happen. I can't think what that looks like right now but I'm starting to imagine it happening.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-20 12:23AM | 0 recs
Who knew?

I have been involved, a couple of times, in projects, or campaigns, that have just never went right

But the last thing this administration did was pull the plug. Imagine if they had? Nothing would get passed for another three years.

The Republicans created a Waterloo. If they lose this, their whole policy of obstructionism will have failed.

All the other arguments on the left are really a side show. The progressives who fought for a public option failed in their campaign (I'd guess the outrage 'kill the bill' factor misfired). It's over. Move on.

But the bigger battle is with the republicans.

Who knew?

by brit 2010-03-20 08:13PM | 1 recs
RE: Who knew?

Leave it to you Brit, to find a bitter angle of making a petty personal attack that results in your reminding everyone how you can't get past 2008.

You know, life moves on, get over it guy. I've been in 6 winning campaigns since that year, just won a Reed award for Atlanta's mayoral race, good stuff is happening.


by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-20 08:53PM | 0 recs
RE: Who knew?

I'm happy for you Jerome. But as to my point? Isn't defeating the Republicans at this stage, on a broader front with more centrist democrats, also a victory for progressives?

by brit 2010-03-21 06:48PM | 0 recs
RE: Who knew?

Yea, I agree with that, its basically become a partisan battle. This is really the way that things should have been run out of the gate, but having 59 until Franken was seated screwed everything up, and now we are back to 59, so we'll see if anything at all thats big gets done now.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-21 08:58PM | 1 recs
RE: Who knew?

After Tuesday, reconciliation will be on the table for everything in the Senate. In some ways, having sixty hurt the dems because it gave the illusion that you could vote down the fillibuster on a regular basis. Problem was, we had to have 100% agreement among dems to get it done. And some dems in the Senate are dicks.

Now, the Senate will be willing to pass stuff with 51 votes and reconciliation. Or, they'll go after killing the fillibuster altogether.

by EvilAsh 2010-03-22 12:29AM | 0 recs
RE: Who knew?

Having 59 votes also helped with Stupak. If Coakley had won Stupak would have almost certainly demanded his abortion amendment be added to the conference report. But since Scott Brown with the only path being reconciliation and the GOP pledge to strike any non-budget items - Stupak had no choice.

So silver linings alround. :)

by vecky 2010-03-22 01:19PM | 0 recs

I'm loving all the optimism.

by fogiv 2010-03-20 12:25AM | 1 recs
It's normal.

Before important, close votes, irrational pessimism is often exuded for purposes of psychological warfare; you keep those who might waver in line and you keep the pressure on those who are still undecided.

There is tremendous historical precendent for this tactic.

As I noted above, Pelosi will not call for a vote if she does not have the 216 votes. So, if there are no more delays, and Pelosi indicates the vote is a go for Sunday afternoon, then just mentally tune out the pessimism.

Pelosi would never say she has all the votes she needs if it is close.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 12:57AM | 1 recs
Keep Calling Congress!

Whether or not you live in their districts, call the following Congresspeople (who are either undecided or are progressives who are considering opposing the legislation) and ask them to vote in favor of health care reform so that we can finally begin fixing our broken health care system.

Zack Space – Ohio (Zanesville, Dover, Chillicothe) – (202) 225-6265

Marcy Kaptur – Ohio (Toledo) – (202) 225-4146

Bill Foster – Illinois (Batavia, Dixon, Geneseo) – (202) 225-2976

Kathy Dahlkemper – Pennsylvania (Erie) – (202) 225-5406

Chris Carney – Pennsylvania (Clarks Summit, Shamokin, Williamsport) – (202) 225-3731

Melissa Bean – Illinois (Schaumburg) – (202) 225-3711

Steve Driehaus – Ohio (Cincinnati) – (202) 225-2216

Jim Matheson – Utah (South Salt Lake, St. George, Price) – (202) 225-3011

Stephen Lynch – Massachusetts (Brockton, Boston) – 202-225-8273

Peter DeFazio – Oregon (Eugene, Roseburg, Coos Bay) – 202.225.6416

Michael Arcuri – New York (Utica, Auburn, Cortland) – (202)225-3665

Rick Boucher – Virginia (Abingdon, Pulaski, Big Stone Gap) – 202-225-3861

Henry Cuellar – Texas (San Antonia, Laredo, Rio Grande City) – 202-225-1640

John Tanner – Tennessee (Union City, Jackson, Millington) – 202-225-4714

Glenn Nye – Virginia (Virginia Beach, Accomac) – (202) 225-4215

Brian Baird – Washington (Vancouver, Olympia) – (202) 225-3536

Dan Lipinski – Illinois (LaGrange, Oak Lawn, Chicago’s southwest side) – (202) 225 – 5701

Joe Donnelly – Indiana (South Bend, LaPorte, Michigan City, Kokomo) – (202) 225-3915

Marion Barry – Arkansas (Jonesboro, Cabot, Mountain Home) – (202) 225-4076

Harry Teague – New Mexico (Hobbs, Las Cruces, Socorro, Los Lunas, Roswell) – (202) 225-2365

Jerry Costello – Illinois (Carbondale, Belleville, E. St. Louis, Granite City, Chester) – (202) 225-5661

John Barrow – Georgia (Savannah, Augusta, Vidalia, Milledgeville, Sandersville) – (202) 225-2823

Nick Rahall – West Virginia (Beckley, Bluefield, Huntington, Logan) – (202) 225-3452

Solomon Ortiz – Texas (Corpus Christi, Brownsville) – (202) 225-7742

by Winning Progressive 2010-03-20 12:47AM | 2 recs
Thank you for reposting this

It's amazing the cowardice that persists. These people think that by voting to kill the bill in a more conservative district, they will secure reelection in 2010. Do they think any Republican would consider killing the bill a saving grace? Guess what? You're probably going to lose anyways. At least go down doing what you were sent to Washington to do.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 01:01AM | 0 recs
RE: Thank you for reposting this

Problem is none of those districts are solid-Red. A good number of the Nov '10 match-ups are solid-Dem, some lean Dem and only a few are tossups.

NYT has a break-up of the reps still in play:

A lot of Dems in more conservative districts have come out in favor. iI's only the Stupid coalition (19 of the 24 left) that are making hay.

by vecky 2010-03-20 01:14AM | 0 recs
What is wrong witht hese people?

Do they think killing this is remotely close to a political winner?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 02:10AM | 0 recs
Well, all the news reports...

...are a little less dramatic.  Reuters is reporting that a healthcare lobbyist says that Pelosi is 4 votes short and that she will get them.  The Post is saying that Kaptur has her own gang of anti-choicers that would trump Stupak's...

So, let's not all panic, especially from stories written up at FDL.  They are as biased a source as Fox News nowadays, since they want to kill the bill.

by LordMike 2010-03-20 03:32AM | 0 recs
If this goes down

The entire Obama Presidency and likely Democratic party will be sunk.  I think most Democrats know this.  They will find the votes. 

by Kent 2010-03-20 03:45AM | 1 recs
RE: If this goes down

Disreagrd the rec, especially with this JERK.

Hi KEnt, bye Kent. Shut up Kent.

Can't you ban this turkey?

Upstate Kent, the leader of the Sports Talk left.

I'm sorry, but I've been jumped on twice for what I say and this charcter never even gets a firty look.


by spirowasright 2010-03-20 03:26PM | 1 recs
RE: If this goes down

That's because we don't ban people here just for expressing a thought, and we also don't have some sort of group think that has to express itself as a gang operation.

On the other hand, for the people who can't figure out how to write a sentence when dealing with something they don't like, or just ignore it and move on, without becoming petty in name-calling, there is little tolerance, you are right.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-20 04:43PM | 0 recs

Intrade has HCR at 87% as I type this.

Just this past Wednesday it was under 40%!!!

I don't think it is some magic coincidence we are seeing all these switchers to "yes," though.

by Steve M 2010-03-20 04:33AM | 0 recs
RE: Interestingly

I don't know--according to Bowers, yes to no swichers still outnumber no to yes switchers. Not a lot of margin of error there for Pelosi.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-20 01:20PM | 0 recs
I hope everyone will call these undecided schmucks

My wife has pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Hypertension, and Sarcoidosis, shit she's only 58 and any one of these will kill her and pretty soon. We have a little bit of insurance but the out of pocket costs are astronomical. This sucks. Fuck you Stupak. How come a mass of cells are more important than a woman who has already contributed to our society in so many ways, she even makes quilts for children's charity for God sakes. Eat shit and die Stupak.

by hgs3 2010-03-20 10:12AM | 0 recs
RE: I hope everyone will call these undecided schmucks

the preexisting conditions thing won't kick in for 4 years under this bill. 

Good luck though. It's horrible that people have to go through what you are going through in a country as rich as ours.

by jeopardy 2010-03-20 11:46AM | 0 recs

My understanding is the recission, lifetime caps, and preexisting condition language all goes into effect the minute the bill is signed into law, and that some of the language was recently changed to allow this.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 03:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Correction?

Lifetime caps yes, but the other two can't apply until the exchanges and mandate kick in. Except for under 18 that is.

by vecky 2010-03-20 03:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Correction?

But there is temporary coverage for those with preexisting conditions until the exchanges are set up, allowing those with conditions to have provisional insurance until then.

I guess both statements are right.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 04:20PM | 0 recs
RE: Correction?

The high-risk pools set up for people with pre-existing conditions between now and 2014 will be prohibitively expensive for most people. More than half the states already have comparable high-risk pools--it hasn't solved the problem.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-20 04:53PM | 0 recs
Price check?

I am unemployed and have a preexisting condition. As it stands right now, I can't get anything, even if I am hired by another company.

The bill may not help you immediately, but it does help me.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:16PM | 0 recs
RE: Price check?

There is a high risk pool set-up yes. It's not exactly an ideal solution though.

p.s: I thought you were in MA, where pre-existing was already covered?

by vecky 2010-03-20 06:20PM | 0 recs
RE: Price check?

My impression was that under my circumstances I could still be barred in MA, but since I don't have a new job, I don't know for sure.

I am also inelligible for Mass Health because I had COBRA from my previous job.

Regardless, even if MA prevents preexisting conditions, it financially behooves me to be working, so I will likely have to leave MA for any job in my industry, and thereby leave behind whatever protections, keeping myself still at risk.

My overall point was that there is real reform in this bill that helps millions of people, even people such as myself.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:43PM | 0 recs
RE: Price check?

Well, hold on to those COBRA subsidies. No one has yet pointed out that they are basically a give-away to the insurance industry, but that dosn't mean they won't catch on ;).

by vecky 2010-03-20 07:57PM | 0 recs
RE: Price check?

The COBRA siubsidies are a huge part of my life, but they won't last forever. Then I face paying full price for my plan.

With a new job, it could be done, but I know I am more fortunate than most.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 08:09PM | 0 recs
RE: Price check?

I think there has been something out here in CA for a long time where if you have no gaps in insurance, then you can't be denied for preexisting conditions.

I'm not positive though.

by jeopardy 2010-03-20 08:27PM | 0 recs
RE: Correction?

As Vecky said, the bans on preexisting conditions and recissions don't kick in for 4 years (when those other provisions take effect.)

Except for children, where it starts immediately, I think.

by jeopardy 2010-03-20 04:20PM | 0 recs
You are correct.

I was conflating the temporary preexisting coverage, which will help me, with the actual ban, which will also help me.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:18PM | 0 recs
RE: You are correct.

ok, and good to know that there's something that will help you.

by jeopardy 2010-03-20 08:15PM | 0 recs
RE: I hope everyone will call these undecided schmucks

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I don't think this bill solves most of the big problems families like yours are dealing with. Some people will be better off with the subsidies, but insurance companies will still have monopolies in most markets and will still be jerking people around with high out of pocket costs, etc.

I agree with you that Stupak is reprehensible. I wouldn't be surprised if he's been working to bring down the bill all along--he used to live in the "Family" house on C Street.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-20 01:21PM | 0 recs
RE: I hope everyone will call these undecided schmucks

But all means call the undecideds.

They want you to, they're loving all the attenion.

A history-making vote rides on the shoulders of 535 prima donnas.

by spirowasright 2010-03-20 03:28PM | 0 recs
RE: Stupak may yet bring down health insurance reform (updated)

This bill fucking sucks. A year to get this shit and we lose political capital to boot. What a great political strategy. Let's see - we lose one of the most important elements - the public option and we force everyone to buy the health insurance company's product.  We'll see how good their rate controls work from now and the 5 years it goes into effect. How's that working with the credit card companies. We fucked up royally face it. Instead of concentrating on the economy, after 1 year and a major election loss Obama suddenly promises to concentrate on job creation.  Give me a fucking break - you just had that lightening rod moment that this is what matters to voters?  I am so disgusted right now.  My only consolation is that I know things are limping towards a recovery right now and if the Republicans were in power it would be so much worse.  However given how the political game has been so royally screwed up I have a feeling we won't have a chance to cement any sort of a recovery before they get back into power and just massacre us.  Just fucking great. Here's a hint - if people's SOL had improved you could've jammed a much more comprehensive health care bill through the WH due to the political credability earned.  And maybe people will finally shut up about the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn't able to pass healthcare reform with a REPUBLICAN dominated Congress when a DEMOCRATIC dominated congress made this such a clusterfuck and we wind up with this weak ass excuse for reform - which will probably reap results that will simply be used as an example by the GOP scumbags for why Democratic ideas don't work while they pass their version of reform to totally rape us. I am so sickened and disenfranchised. We really have noone protecting us.

by jrsygrl 2010-03-20 12:33PM | 0 recs
RE: Stupak may yet bring down health insurance reform (updated)

The most important elements are the medicaid expansion and the subsidies for middle-income workers. Those are still in the bill.

by vecky 2010-03-20 12:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Stupak may yet bring down health insurance reform (updated)

Along with the ban on recisions and the ban on preexisting conditions, all of which go into effect the minute the bill is signed into law.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 03:11PM | 0 recs
Disregard ^^

MY above statement is inaccurate.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:20PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

The Bill tries to build a political solution which addresses the difficult and complicated problem which would certainly be solved by 'single payer' but single payer is not politically possible. A public option might happen down the road, but is not politically possible now. The mandate is necessary because Insurance requires shared risk across the board - it doesn't work if only sick people participate.

I love your foul language, and wish everyone was allowed to do what you did. If I did that, I'd be booted out in a NY minute.

by QTG 2010-03-20 01:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

Give us all a break. "Might happen down the road." We will probably not see Democratic majorities this large again for 40 or 50 years. If we couldn't get a public option in this bill, we will never get one.


by desmoinesdem 2010-03-20 01:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

If the bill passes, even the GOP will come around to the idea of a Public Option.

by vecky 2010-03-20 01:28PM | 0 recs
RE: Give?

Breaks aren't free, either.

by QTG 2010-03-20 02:16PM | 0 recs
How do you know?

Maybe Harry Reid was just trying to placate with his latest statements, but if the progressive activists don't take their ball and go home, as they are so prone to do, and keep the pressure on, I'm confident it might happen.

There is such a thing, especially in Washington, of trying to do too much at once.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 03:15PM | 0 recs
RE: How do you know?

this bill got worse and worse until the Progressives started rebelling. Then it stopped getting worse for the most part and even got a tad better in some areas.

by jeopardy 2010-03-20 04:21PM | 0 recs

You pondered in a thread days ago, why all the pressure was on the progressives, and no one was leaning on the Blue Dogs. The thread was stale, so I didn't bother going back in there, but you are correct.

Progressives lost the argument over the summer. With little effort and a lot of nerve, Republicans were able to succesfully pull the frame (and the debate along with it) so far to the right, that the battle line was always going to be well beyond what the base desired. Now you have a base threatening to rebel, and the people from swing/republican districts in as much jeopardy as they would have been if the debate was over single payer.

A lack of leadership from the WH was a good part of the problem.

Heavy legislative lifts like this aren't attempted more than once a generation, and I think a lot of people were caught off guard and unprepared.

People were overlearning the lessons from the Clinton failure in 1993.

Progressives were complacent and presumed many so-called democrats would come through for them. We were also unable to change the media narrative.

Regardless, it looks like this is going to be done. I think it is worthy of celebrating. I also think that future changes will come easier. And most of all, I hope the WH and Congress has learned an important lesson about dealing with Republicans. While a lot of blame goes to the WH for letting the debate slip so far to the right, a lot of credit goes their way for single handedly saving this effort.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:36PM | 0 recs
RE: Exactly not

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. 


by QTG 2010-03-21 08:34AM | 0 recs
RE: Exactly not

We have no way of knowing how things would have turned out if any of the players had acted differently. We very well may have ended up with nothing. So I do concede the logical fallacy in my post above. I'm grateful we have a huge win here. Don't get me wrong. But I also believe that there are lessons for future efforts.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-21 06:22PM | 0 recs
RE: Exactly not

The fallacy I was referencing was jeopardy's: "this bill got worse and worse until the Progressives started rebelling". The trajectory of "the Bill" (more accurately 'the bills') was a predictably complicated one, whose ultimate fate is as yet unknown. If HCR which has eluded generations of Democrats becomes a reality I will pity those who will lament its imperfections - they are fools.


by QTG 2010-03-21 07:07PM | 0 recs
RE: Exactly not

I lament it's imperfections. Because the next battle will be over how to fix them - the GOP will try to gut the system, the Dems will have try to strengthen it. It's unlikely to ever be repealed, but it has to be made better. Much better.

by vecky 2010-03-21 08:28PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

Booted from where? I AM ANGRY. Maybe you could try and get the point - NOONE IS STANDING UP FOR US. Let's see the Republicans will royally fuck this country up and I used to believe and actively campaign that the Democrats were really there to protect me and the American people. Now I realize they are just Republican lite - which is better than Republicans because they will really screw you whereas the Democrats will only screw you just a little. But hey lecture me on my language. Way to miss the point that a lifelong advocate and party supporter has been completely alienated not JUST by this bill but the entire way this mess and this year  has been managed. The Democrats had an opportunity to do something real for the American people; people like me that went out of my way to stand up and campaign for them and they shit all over it, us and me.  So excuse my language but I think this type of betrayel just might warrant it.  They all need to be thrown out. I am sick and disgusted over it and anyone that blindly excuses the squandering of our country and my future.

by jrsygrl 2010-03-20 03:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

A lot of people are standing up for us. But it's no where near 50% of congress. I suspect it's closer to 35%, which while bad is an improvement from the about 25% it was during the Bush years.

by vecky 2010-03-20 03:47PM | 0 recs
RE: Wrong

First, calm down and catch your breath. It's going to pass. Legislating and sausage making, as they say, are two processes that should never be watched closely.

Vecky is right. More people are standing up for you than 5 years ago. There are plenty of rotten Dems.But there are plenty of really good ones.

Nancy Pelosi?

Dennis Kucinich (sort of, when he isn't chasing windmills)?

Ala Grayson?

The time to deal with the rotten ones is in the primary. And that is exactly what is going to happen. We as progressives have to start paying much closer attention to democratic primaries, then just assuming any person with a 'D' next to their name will do our bidding.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-20 06:25PM | 0 recs

The throwing out is coming. Don't worry, its coming. Hopefully its just not one-sided.

There's plenty of reasons to be angry, it just makes for better reading and getting the point across when the metaphor isn't rape, or the like.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-20 04:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Stupak may yet bring down health insurance reform (updated)

And oh, btw, In 1993-94 the Congressional ratios were very similar to what they are today.

by vecky 2010-03-20 02:38PM | 0 recs
My position, thoughts, and otherwise two cents

My best friend is a militant pro life guy - a brilliant man who can as easily take apart a motherboard as he can a chevy. He is marrying , soon, to a beautiful woman with this strange light in her eyes - a woman from Slovokia - that he met on an anti-abortion march there. He is orthodox catholic, and wears a saint christopher at all times.


And he and I get along really well, even on this issue - even though we have disagreed on this point for years. My view is really simple: make abortion safe, and legal - but make it go away. He turned me on to a catholic group that rolls in this direction and while all of this endless discussion has been going on - I've helped probably 20 young ladies along - and let me note something here please  - I said. Helped. I didn't make their decisions for them. I just did what I could - I'm a single dad, I know the ropes - I didn't lecture them or wave my hands in the air. I consider my support for healthcare reform part and parcel of my efforts to continue that work - a young mother to be will, after sunday - be able to look upon the decision of whether or not to have a child and know that she will have good healthcare for the baby at a good price - adopting Alan Grayson's amendments to Medicare would mean that she could buy in - and not have to worry about all the insanity that has been going on.


Pregnancy is a Pre-Existing condition.  The Insurance companies have been avoiding paying for it, for years. Their little maneuver against unwed or young mothers - will soon end and with it,  whatever the pontification and posturing about legislation - so too will end a large percentage of the abortions in this country.  A woman has a very difficult choice to make - her partner will often state that he will blindly support her in her decision whether or not to have the child - but in the end - after sunday - that decision will become exponentially simpler and our sense of who we are on this subject should improve measurably.

Not that any of this would matter to those who think they can legislate a deep, core morality of our species.

His fiancee and I got into a discussion about which country has the lowest abortion rate. I said the Netherlands (a friend of mine had an unplanned pregnancy there and not only did she have the child, but she also had a nanny sent to her home to help her - and she ended up in a book and royalty deal that she worked - through her pregnancy - that sustains her even to this day!)


She said. Ireland. Where abortion is against the law.

And then the light came on.  For the longest time, I felt that the Netherlands - with their choice to see Abortion as a Public Health Issue - and the staggeringly low incidence of actual abortions - even in a country where there is legalized prostitution no less? - as a good model. But then Along came Ireland.

And suddenly the light bulb lit off in my head. I smiled, and we parted ways and then I did some digging.

The Abortion Rate in Ireland is so low because unwed mothers , or women with unplanned pregnancies - are living in a country that is  NEAR a country that has a National Health Service.

The statistics bore it out.  Women in Ireland get their abortions done in England, a short trip over the border.  And the rate is low because in England, as in the Netherlands - its a no-hassle issue - its a public health issue. England as a fantastic public option.

And I laughed to myself as I read all of this. The biggest part of the puzzle regarding women's rights - and this issue - is not whether we will legislate away what we think is a crime, or a sin -

It's whether or not we will take care of young women - as well as we take care of our own Senators and Congressmen - Last time I checked, Stupak had a pretty decent healthcare plan. 

Both my best friend's fiancee and I agree that lobbyism - and the kind of pandering that we find lights into our system when the lobbyists get control of the process - is a very great evil. We don't think anyone is for abortion.

If you are on the 11th hour trying to block reform, you're likely in the pocket of someone who is covering up their tracks.  If someone can figure out where the money is coming from right now it will help in the long run - when the lobbyists lose this one, and lose their grip on power - they will take the GOP down with them.

And Pelosi will have drained the swamp at last. No?

But. Yeah.  This isn't about women's rights - in my view - its just a guy who wants to get paid under the table.  Some congressmen have already taken their stand against abortion - oddly enough - they're actually out there to help the American people as well.

 I think the good guys are going to win on this one. Don't you?

by Trey Rentz 2010-03-20 12:34PM | 2 recs
RE: My position, thoughts, and otherwise two cents

Hey everyone I just found that there will be a women's health care press conference at 1:30  - coming out of the house of representatives.


Radical! Ok. I'm back to work. Have to freaking work on a saturday grumble grumble..



by Trey Rentz 2010-03-20 12:41PM | 0 recs


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