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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rachel Maddow Explains Stupak’s ‘Draconian’ Amendment

Yesterday on Office Hours we discussed with WaPo’s Howie Kurtz whether the Stupak amendment was getting as much coverage in the press as it deserved, and whether, because it didn’t have polarizing figures opposing it (a la Beck, Bachmann, Armey) the amendment hadn’t generated the kind of controversy cable news loves to cover. Howie’s take was, if this is actually the case the media is falling down on the job. Yes, well.

Rachel Maddow, however, is certainly not letting Stupak go unnoticed. Last night she took another pass at the last-minute amendment that bans government funded coverage of abortion except in instances of rape or incest (great explanation of possible fallout here), this time taking aim at Stupak himself: “the man who sneaked the strongest anti-abortion legislation in a generation into the health reform bill is now walking around Wash like he owns the place.” Stupak is as Stupak does!

Maddow proceeds to further vet the amendment — explaining why is it not merely an continuation of the current rule that won’t allow the government to fund abortions but a “draconian,” “dishonest” development. She also reveals how the amendment came about in the first place, with the possible help of the Catholic church. If you are curious why some people are up in arms about this addition to the health care bill here it is explained. (Video below).

As it stands, the law says federal funds cannot be used to pay for abortion. The President has said he want to keep abortion rights the status quo…he’s said this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill. Congressman Stupak and his supporters say that the Stupak amendment will simply maintain the status quo. It should be noted that that’s baloney, the Stupak amendment doesn’t just say you can’t use your Federal insurance subsidy to pay for an abortion, it says if you’re getting a federal subsidy of any kind you’re not allowed to buy an insurance plan that covers abortion…even with your own money. LinkHere

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Stupak: I'll Kill Bill If Abortion Amendment Goes
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) pledged on Tuesday that he would kill health care reform legislation if his anti-abortion amendment is taken out.

"They're not going to take it out," Stupak said on Fox News. "If they do, health care will not move forward ... We won fair and square."

Asked about a comment from White House senior adviser David Axelrod this weekend suggesting that the language should be adjusted, Stupak was dismissive. "That is why Mr. Axelrod is not a legislator," he said. "He doesn't really know what he is talking about."

Stupak said 10 to 20 Democrats would join him in voting against the bill if his language was stripped out. The amendment would bar any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions. LinkHere

Brown: Senate GOP can't get even a majority for abortion provision
By Michael O'Brien - 11/17/09 09:10 AM ET
Republicans won't even have a majority in the Senate to add abortion provisions to the health bill, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) suggested Monday night.

Brown said that the Senate bill faces no threat from Republicans and pro-life Democrats looking to add language to the bill that would impose new rules on federal subsidies for abortion, mirroring an amendment attached by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to the House bill.

"I don't think that it's a threat at all," Brown said Monday night during an appearance on MSNBC. "There aren't more than four or five Democratic senators that I would say are anti-choice. There are at least, I think, two Republican senators who are pro-choice."


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