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Stupak: ‘You Don’t Buy Me Off’



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After watching the Senate’s health-care debate, Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) tells NRO that he has one message for President Obama and House speaker Nancy Pelosi: “You don’t buy me off.”

Stupak tells us that he’s disappointed that Democratic leaders have offered him legislative favors in exchange for supporting Obamacare. “This shouldn’t be a bill where you use hush money,” says Stupak. “This isn’t an appropriations bill where you try to get the best projects for your state.”

“In the House, we need to bring equity back into the process,” says Stupak. “We need to cut out those sweetheart deals.” If the deals in question are not removed, Stupak will vote against the bill. In the meantime, he says, “my reservations are growing.”

“I’ve spoken with a half-dozen members in the last 48 hours, and they’re all really concerned with the Senate bill,” says Stupak. “We all agree: We’ve lost our objective with health care. Where you live should have nothing to do with the quality or cost of your coverage.”

On abortion, Stupak says that the language of the health-care bill must be crystal clear. “There cannot be, in any way, public funding for abortion,” says Stupak. “What the Nelson compromise does is recognize abortion for the first time as a benefit in a federal health plan. It mandates that at least one plan has abortion coverage. Those are drastic changes to the current law.”

“President Obama needs to keep current law in place, as he said he would,” says Stupak. “The polls show that the public doesn’t want public funding for abortion. If the president really wants to work with us, he has to recognize this.” And remember, Stupak adds, that the probable Christmas Eve passage of the Senate bill doesn’t mean much. “The House is a whole different ball game.”



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