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Politics & Current Affairs

Stupak Amendment

For much of the weekend pre-health care House Vote, Republican Bart Stupak was hammering out an executive order making it clear that no federal money would be spent on abortion.

“Late into Saturday night and again Sunday morning, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan negotiated with President Barack Obama’s top lawyer, hammering out an executive order that made clear that no federal money would be spent on abortion. It helped save the Democrats’ signature effort on health care overhaul — a victory that had eluded the party for decades. Without Stupak and as many as nine other Democrats opposed to abortion, the chances of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., finding the 216 votes needed for passage looked bleak. With them, it was all but done. The breakthrough came at midafternoon Sunday. ‘Thirty-one million more Americans will have health insurance,’ Stupak said at a news conference. He and the other Democrats — including Ohio’s Marcy Kaptur and West Virginia’s Alan Mollohan — said they were prepared to let the legislation fail if their concerns weren’t addressed. In November, the House passed an amendment written by Stupak — a former state trooper and a Catholic from Menominee in the western Upper Peninsula — that prohibited payment of federal subsidies to any insurance plan that covered elective abortions, even if a separate, segregated amount to pay for the procedure was collected from the insured person.”

The votes were cast and near-universal health care reform passed by the House. So, the Democrats won a clear victory, right? Not according to Republicans who are also triumphant.
The issue of abortion could still blow up the Democrat’s move to pass a universal health care bill according to pro-life activists and some Republicans.

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Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import as the successful driving force behind universal healthcare for Americans, writes TNR’s Jonathan Chait.