Congressman Dingell: Call Bart Stupak on His Lies about Abortion
John Dingell says he is going to try to persuade Stupak to drop his efforts to sink healthcare with his anti-choice efforts.
The Congress is a place where we represent our people and where we serve our conscience. I strongly disagree with Bart, I think he’s wrong. But he was my friend. He is my friend. We hunt, we have campaigned together, and I’m going to try and show him the error of his ways. And I’m also going to try and see to it that we beat him on this because this is a matter of the utmost humanitarian and economic concern to this nation.
As of right now, the deal that Stupak made with Pelosi is off–he has postponed his press conference and Henry Waxman and Lynn Woolsey have said there is no deal on abortion.
But that leaves the problem of whip count. If Democrats lose all the people who had signed onto the Stupak deal, then they will have to get the vote of every single remaining fence-sitter to be able to pass the bill.
Which probably means it’s not going to pass unless some of those anti-choice Stupak supporters will flip and vote for health care anyway.
I’ve long said that Dingell would be the most likely person to persuade Stupak to let this pass. Not only is Dingell the living history of efforts to pass health care, he has been a mentor to Stupak over his career. So the man who most wants to pass this bill (from a sense of personal destiny) also has a bit of leverage to persuade Stupak.
What I’d like to see Dingell do–aside from talking to Stupak personally–is call Stupak out on his lies, his utterly false claim that the Nelson language doesn’t already restrict access to choice more than it is restricted now, and that only his language would preserve the intent of the Hyde Amendment.
But that’s simply an out-and-out lie.
Not only do Stupak’s claims about the fungibility of money fall flat (as Rachel explains), but his language would add onerous new barriers to choice for women everywhere. As a key GWU study shows,
In view of how the health benefit services industry operates and how insurance product design responds to broad regulatory intervention aimed at reshaping product content, we conclude that the treatment exclusions required under the Stupak/Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange. As a result, Stupak/Pitts can be expected to move the industry away from current norms of coverage for medically indicated abortions. In combination with the Hyde Amendment, Stupak/Pitts will impose a coverage exclusion for medically indicated abortions on such a widespread basis that the health benefit services industry can be expected to recalibrate product design downward across the board in order to accommodate the exclusion in selected markets.
Now, Stupak can claim he’s simply making a principled stand so long as the media refuses to call him on his lies. But if Dingell called him on it–if Dingell pointed out that this is not a principled stand, but rather an opportunistic effort to exploit a historic moment to attack women’s reproductive rights–then he will not have cover for his actions.
Bart Stupak is not only threatening to kill health insurance reform out of desire to impose his beliefs on women around the country. But he’s doing so using out and out lies.
And it’s time somebody called him on those lies.
While I disagree with his reasons, I agree that this “health care” bill should die. No public option. Significant restrictions on abortion coverage. No drug reimportation. Pre-existing conditions are still uncovered. And so on.
That said, calling out Stupak’s lies will do no good at all. The prolife folks don’t care at all if you lie for the cause, the middle isn’t paying attention, and the prochoice folks already know he’s lying.
Boxturtle (Cynical, grumpy, and undercaffinated)
Agree for the most part. But as Dingell’s slip–“he was my friend” suggests, Stupak is gambling more here than his place at C Street.
I don’t think he’s gambling so much as calculating. His goal is re-election to his comfortable life. Dingell is under an ethics cloud currently, and may not be there next term. He’s got a large enough block of supporters that Nancy will hesitate to crush him, she will need him and his friends in the future.
If he runs as an anti-abortion crusader, he should be able to crush a primary challenge in his district. If he caves, he’ll avoid the primary but will face someone with stronger anti-abortion credentials than his in the general.
Math says to keep telling the lies.
Boxturtle (Not to say it will be free, Dingell is PROUD to be known as the biggest SOB in the House)
Dingell? Ethics cloud?!?!?
Argh. I confused Dingell with Conyers. I warned that I was undercaffinated!
My humblest apologies to Rep. Dingall.
Boxturtle (Never post undercaffinated. How many times must I learn that?)
Conyers isn’t under an ethical cloud either. Sure, his wife is off to the pokey. But they’re not exactly close. And for some reason, she is being treated as an indigent for her appeal, which suggests she’s not able to draw on her husband’s significant salary.
Oh, you mean Stupak.
I don’t think the C Street stuff amounts to a real ethical cloud. Hell, Rahm got a subsidized basement from Rosa DeLauro for many years, and they’ve never used it against him.
And Stupak is quite likely the most popular Dem in a swing district like him, based on polling done AFTER Saltonstill got in the primary and AFTER his C Street ties were well known. And frankly, his is not that comfortable a life–representing this district is pretty hard. He was very seriously considered as a gubernatorial candidate earlier this year (and on a number of counts, he’s better than the equally anti-choice guy who’s the front-runner right now). And as much of a clusterfuck as our state is, being Gov would be no harder than repping this district.
Well, for most of this process I’d agree w/you (eg. it should die). (although there is improvements for those w/pre-existing conditions). Reasons (quik): BO did little to get those omitted fixes you list in the public eye, and more than anything (my words) this is HC expansion rather than fix. So I’m quite disappointed (to say the least) in that. IMO the most significant “market oriented” fix is public option, yet BO/congress just rolled over on this one… again, no backbone to make the public case/expose un-earned profiteering sucking the system dry, etc. etc.
However, watching various news this week… hearing the words from mouths of various factions opposing this thing, I’ve changed my mind. As I do every evening, stopped by my folks… they were eating dinner watching Greta on FOX. Her pontificators all pontificating on this bill: Sarah Palin & Rick Santorum… schlepping out the usual shit. (I never turn on FOX myself).
I’ve seen C-SPAN’s coverage of repub lawmaker’s moments in front of the microphones this week as well: Cantor, Bohner (etc): the 100% dis-ingenous (lies) is beyond blatant, the mischaracterizing
of most everything HC w/their word smithing feel good stuff while everything they’ve done has been sop to their HC profiteering donors… everything.
Just a few from this week:
* Repub’s (Bohner’s) fake Dem “Doc” doc.
* Brown’s charactarization as ‘the Great War of Yankee Aggression.’
* Bohner’s statement on Student loan reform (part of this bill): “(it will) eliminate Every Bank In The Country”.
On and on… everything I’ve heard from repubs the same. I loathe them.
So at least on something… anything, Dems draw a line in the sand and stand for something, however belated and however removed from most critical issues which they have shrunk…
For me, given magnitude of public interest and mass MSM noise rattling through the heads of majority of US public, seeing Dems stand up to these fuckers looks more worthwhile than giving up and succumbing (again, and again and again) to repub shit. For once, throw sand in these bully’s faces (and if it was me, I’d kick ’em in the jewels… just because).
If I’m wrong about this, it’s going to make me realize I’m just not very smart. Most of the people in control of the resolution of this are around my age (57), and being politicians, they must realize how strongly we feel about the right to choose. It’s the only issue that would make me drop everything, fly to DC, and sit in a House member’s office until they decided I was trespassing. That feeling is very strong right now. I conclude they realize they have to stuff Stupak and move on.
I really hope you are right about Dingell, and I’ll owe him an apology because when this story came out I thought it was a bunch of BS spin intended to keep the rabble from stirring up too much negative press on the bill until the very last minute when they’d vote on it and it would be done.
Here’s why I doubted the Dingell story: If Dingell has so much influence over Stupak, why hasn’t he been able to convince him to stop this before now? Has he tried to talk to Stupak before? What has changed?
I suppose the obvious answers might be: 1) this is the final bill; 2) the pro-choice caucus is really standing up this time and unmovable; 3) there is now language in the Senate bill (Nelson’s) that should satisfy Stupak’s group; or 4) Dingell was saving his “talk” for now.
Dunno, but I’d again point to the “he was my friend he is my friend” slip.
Which suggests to me he has talked to him already.
But Dingell ought to have some chits he can call in from Stupak (hell, maybe even from Kaptur, whose district adjoins Dingell’s to the south).
At least two GOP backers are now saying that Stupak’s been told his amendment isn’t going in.
” . . .Stupak’s been told his amendment isn’t going in.”
That’s such a welcome message, PJEvans, that I simply had to repeat it.
I don’t think Democrats remember how to play hardball anymore, except against their own base.
This headline gave me false hope. I thought Dingell was saying the line about calling out Stupak on his lies. The fact that it is a request addressed to Dingell gives me slightly less hope.
The tale of two blogs.
Since many on Firedoglake would like to see this insurance company give away stuffed, it is interesting to see so many here dying to see it pass.
Like Kucinich, Stupak will abandon whatever principles he thinks he has and vote for it. Just as those here who fought against the bill will get in line sooner or later.
My favorite thing is watching the leaders keep telling the public that as soon as the bill passes insurance companies will not be able to turn them down for pre-existing conditions. As Robert Gibbs confirmed a few days ago, this only applies to children. Adults have 4 years to wait for it. Yet, you will not hear a single leader correct their misleading statements.
So, maybe Dingell should talk to someone about those lies.
You are misrepresenting what my views on this bill are. Please don’t make assumptions not in evidence.
cregan does that, being JAT.
First, I didn’t say you personally. I said this blog, but could have been more specific with this thread. I saw most people here horrified that Stupak might stop the bill from passing–though not everyone.
Your entry seemed to indicate you were against Stupak holding up the show, which would indicate you want the bill passed.
Or maybe I misunderstood and you are against Stupak holding up the bill for the reason he is holding it up, but you still don’t want the bill to pass.
But, the entry to me reads like you want the bill to pass and don’t like Stupak holding it up AND the reason he is holding it up. Maybe, that is further modified by an unsaid Kucinich position on your part, You don’t like the bill but feel it ought to pass anyway–something better than nothing.
Except here, something is worse than nothing.
See, that’s my point. Opinions are not monolithic, so it’s really sloppy to make generalizations as you did.
FWIW, I have grave reservations about the bill, because I think it uses the full force of the federal government to enforce the mandate without using the federal govt’s power in any meaningful way to control corporations. I think both the Medicare changes and Medicaid expansions are great, though of course neither of those require the comprehensive plan, and the Medicaid provisions will be prone to cherry-picking by deficit hawks. Finally, this bill does next to nothing to affect the real issue, which is cost, so it will actually make companies less likely to choose to build a factory in Michigan instead of Ontario. And, personally, as someone with a pre-existing condition about to enter the indiv market, I would benefit personally, though not in a really immediate way.
I don’t have to decide whether to vote for or against this bill. So I can leave it like that–this is a horribly flawed bill, doesn’t fix the biggest underlying problem, and therefore doesn’t stave off the real risk of AMerican failure internationally, but does help millions who urgently need the help (though not as many millions as the bills supporters claim, because many of those millions will get health insurance but not health care).
I think Dem politicians are probably right to conclude they need to pass this bill for the good of the party in the short term, and so I can understand why the party is scrambling to make that happen. But I am very agnostic over whether this bill will either help the party in the medium (2012) or long (when it actually goes into effect) term, or whether it will damage it hugely. ANd I’m not optimistic they’ll be able to do much to improve it, but I’d love to be proven wrong.
My take? I’d like an honest discussion of this, one that has frankly been silenced in many parts, because if this bill passes yet people don’t acknowledge its huge failures, then it won’t get better and the good parts will be chipped away for funding reasons while the bad parts will remain.
“….and Medicaid expansions are great,…”
You might not think so if you were currently on Medicaid. It is already very difficult to find a doctor that will accept Medicaid. Adding 10 to 13 million more will only make taht worse. Medicaid will become the poster child for “health insurance without health care”.
And, for the little it is worth, I agree with what Marcy said with one huge notable exception and a couple of significant additions. The exception being that I do not think the bill even serves the short term interest of the party, much less the medium or longer term interests. I view this bill as a cement albatross hung around the necks of the party, and rightfully so because it is a bad bill. The things it does accomplish for the positive, as Marcy noted, are the things that will be the easiest to cut and gut, and the handwriting for doing just that is already being inked on the wall.
Further though, and I am absolutely convinced of this and cannot say this strongly enough, the critical claim that the bill will end and prohibit the practice of opportunistic recission of policies by carriers is an outright lie. The healthcare insurance lobby was able to add the following clause into the language of section 2712 of the bill which purports to ban recission:
For the uninitiated, those are the exact grounds that carriers have been using to dump policies via recission for years.
Secondly, the “no longer can you be denied for pre-existing conditions” claim for the bill is also bunk. The problem is that the carriers can still set extremely high rates for pre-existing conditions, which of course they already do. There is effectively nobody that cannot get coverage now for pre-existing conditions if they are willing to pay enough for it; but many people cannot afford to pay that much, and those who can often just choose to self insure and pay for their own care. So, while it will be a little better on this front, there are still going to be plenty of people unable to gain meaningful coverage.
So, if you add those concerns to those that Marcy and others have made, that would be why I am against the bill.
As you know, for fraud to exist the misrepresentation has to be material.
I wonder if the muting of the importance of pre-existing conditions might make the fraud based recissions much more difficult to maintain.
Um, in a word, no. That is how it should be, but in practice what occurs is predicated upon policy terms and conditions and aggressive posture by carrier legal departments. They make a determination that any misrepresentation on your policy application and coverage documents is deemed material to them issuing you the policy and they rescind it. You, the person that is already medically so compromised that you are in their crosshairs to begin with (they only do this to policy holders with large claims and profiles) and then you have to find the wherewithal to retain competent counsel and sue them for reinstatement. They fight tooth and nail. This is how it has been done for years and there is nothing in this bill that will discontinue that practice and there is no new enforcement authority hammer that will take the burden off of the people who are sick and having to now pay for both their medical care AND legal fees while they they try to fight from their heels for reinstatement. I have, in the past, represented such plaintiffs a couple of times and have colleagues who do so regularly; I see nothing that is going to change.
Why don’t we run car insurance the same way? Drive without insurance. Speed like a demon, get a speeding ticket every month. Then when you have an accident, call up Allstate and get some. They can’t deny coverage for existing accidents and then have to fix your car. Oh and they can’t charge you any more than someone who has been driving for 30 years without so much as a parking ticket.
Sounds fair right?
Why do people keep using the same lame comparisons over and over? Health insurance is not like car insurance because no one is forcing you to own a car. On the other hand, your health is your health.
Also many conditions have a genetic component. How does this fit in with the idiotic meme of speeding down the highway getting a ticket every week?
my response is #53
Jeez, your care more about the Democratic Party getting their way than the damage this POS is going to do to the American people.
Me, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Democrats or that fraud Obama.
I care about the American people. They do not.
I guess I have to move to Israel and become a Zionist fcr the US Congress to give a shit. Hell, they grovel before a foreign people simply falling over themselves to give Israel everything it waves it’s little pinky at.
The Dems have destroyed the middle class with their freaking trade deals, bankruptcy laws, civil rights, and now this Fascist legislation that Obama is perfectly content to screw women over in the process.
If it’s fear of Republicans, I say bullshit. The Dems are just as bad, maybe even worse domestically. They butchered this thing. It could have been so simple by single payer but no, Obama only cares about himself and the 20 million insurance companies gave him, so he sold us off like cattle to the slaugher.
Obama has broken so much of his campaign promises, is turned out to be a
major narcissist and a liar, I wonder if he even notices all his own bullshit.
Third party or be a sucker. Face it. The Democratic Party is just as power mad, greedy, selfish, and evil as the Thugs. Face it.
Once this thing passes, they are all going to run from it like the plague.
Forget it. Besides, they will have handed the quality of our health non care into the bloody hands of a for profit industry. The analogy of comparing this to changing SS or Medicare over the years is bogus.
SS and Medicare are public plans. This is not.
You think with all the cash that is now allowed to drown these suckers, they’re going to do anything against the insurance companies?
Hey, remember how they were gonna fix NAFTA? Still waiting. Or how Obama promised to fix FISA after he got elected. Yeah, he fixed it alright, by making it even easier for them to spy on us, almost on a whim.
When politicians ask you to trust them to do something they can but refuse to do now, your BS barometer should be in the red zone.
Thanks. this writing clarifies it. The writing in the original blog was maybe not as clear as you intended.
cregan, fyi: I’m new to this site, and can only speak for myself. And it may be…why I’m here has little in common re: why others are here.
Frankly, the content of the bill is of lesser concern to me that the process of how this thing got to be where it is right now.
For the record: Lying to citizens…is no longer O.K. Saying things to manipulate…not O.K. Backroom deals (which is what’s going on this very moment and has been throughout the process): not O.K. And campaigning on one theme (“No more business as usual” “All meetings will be televised on CSPAN so you know what’s really going on”) not O.K. not O.K. not O.K.
Translate: I don’t care what any bill ends up looking like anymore if the way it gets passed into law involves gaming the system and gaming the public.
P.S. How I express this…isn’t through images of “War Room” or “fighting” “fighting” “fighting” (because that’s just keeps the game going – very negative energy). Rather, I express by standing clear, in my heart, and saying, with respect toward the other: No more. You may not cross this line again.
For this bill: The line was crossed over and over again. Completely unacceptable.
Dingell apparently has been called in to lean on Stupak – that’s what mcjoan is reporting now. They’re also trying to lean on as much of Stupak’s little band of misogynists, to get some of them to flip.
(No, I don’t like this bill; I think it’s only marginally better than the pos Senate version. But if they can keep from making it worse, it will help.)
I’m curious about what people think of this scenario:
What if the House leadership and the White House spend all day and evening trying to pick off the 5? votes they need from the Stupak group, but they ultimately fail.
Will Pelosi put the Stupak/Kaptur (StuKap) amendment back in the bill at midnight (like last time)? Will the pro-choice caucus who walked out and threatened a “no” vote this morning cave in and vote for it?
Lastly, who do you think the White House is pressuring today? Is it the Stupak group? The pro-choice caucus? Both?
P.S. If the rumors about StuKap being ruled out of order are true, I suppose this scenario is moot. But I haven’t seen any confirmation of that rumor.
Now they’re talking about an EO on anti abortion. Just let the President take choice away.
i saw that at Jane’s post, and about put my coffee cup through the wall.
Jonathan Gruber is on C-SPAN2 right now. The rules committee meeting is suspended while the House votes on the Land Management Training bill.
Jonathan Gruber, a living legend, one of the greatest corporate shills of all time.
Listening to the Rules Committee meeting:
There is a manager’s amendment but it’s not been made public yet. Rob Andrews referred to it. Slaughter was asked whether it’s available. She said it’s not public yet because CBO is working on it.
Another great post.
The conclusions of GWU is exactly what Stupak wanted. He wanted to stop abortions in this country forever. It was an end around law. I would have been clever if he didn’t make such a splash. (I’m surprised that Republicans haven’t already done this.)
OT: Canadian author found guilty in Michigan of resisting a border-protection officer.
And Republicans claim to be worried that American juries won’t convict someone charged with offending an armed US agency. I would have loved to have seen the several videos that Customs must have made of that stop. Without them, the charge and the service’s reaction seem wholly out of proportion, especially as the US Attorney’s office walked away from this case the day after the controversy erupted, a case originally within their exclusive jurisdiction, and left it to the state prosecutor and courts. (Whether there were any quiet hallway conversations before or after that announcement would be useful to know.)
As for dredging up a 20 year old altercation in Canada to use it in order to claim habitual offender status for this offense, in order to increase the prison time, it’s double overkill.
The state, of course, can never ever be wrong. We are beginning to make Alfred Dreyfus’ treatment look, well, ordinary. It’s one thing we are distressingly beginning to have in common with China and Russia – though it’s a form of justice Texicans have lived with since Sam Houston.
Well, you sneeze, and we catch cold. Some of that culture percolates up here (howzzat for a mixed metaphor?). I can think of a few conservative politicians who’d be happy to see most Canadian novelists in a Michigan gaol.
Hoping that it’s the minimum penalty possible. There’s already a request for pardon being framed.
(Also, the MI tourist people are likely to be asked in on it, as it doesn’t make people want to visit Michigan, if that’s the kind of thing they might run into.)
so explain this to me:
how is it that rahme (and maybe obama) can tell any liberal congressmen,
“if you don’t vote for our health bill, and the bill fails, it’ll be on your head, f—r!
and don’t think we’ll ever forget it, f—r!
but to a jackleg religious goofball of a dem politician like stupak,
rahme and the prez offer no such threats.
i have an idea why.
A little OT … Scott Horton is such a thoughtful writer.
Would that our nation had a conscience..
I’ve never read Grotius before, but now I intend to. How wise. Just goes to show that you’re never to old to learn. I remember a time when we read and wrote in a much more relaxed way, and when I would never have written a sentence like the next one I’m about to write. Cool keyboards (Byrd’s Battell).
thanks for bringing this to my attention.
horton is very thoughtful.
i love his site because he presents visual, musical, or poetic thinking paralleling political fact, logic, and law.
the tryptic with ave verum corpus was just gorgeous.
as for the anniversary of our noble invasion of iraq?
it passed unnoted, uncelebrated, even by its ardent proponents.
“The Congress is a place where we represent our people …..”
They are all a bunch of liars. If Congress represented its people the bill would have a public option.
It seems that in the end it all comes down to who’s lies you like the best.
I hate this bill. I despise men like Bart Stupak. Argh!
It is simple. Stupak has a general disregard for women.
Stupak is one of those pathetic people whose twisted and inauthentic form of religion is more important than his constituents needs. Public service becomes a convenient forum to promote his rigid holy rollerism and delude himself into believing that he is more important and powerful than he really is.
Best he remember that the voters, not his angry and spiteful form of God, are the real deciders. And he should really reconsider the kind of God he worships, because I would imagine she has little tolerance for fools.
“John Larson said on ABC they have the votes in hand,” – from an earlier article. There is also an article from AP saying the same thing. In fact the article, like John Larson today, is comparing this vote with civil rights and social security! Comparing this POS with those landmarks is not accurate.
Why are reich-wing, MSM outlets claiming this is a done deal and making that comparison? Makes you think the fix is in..
When enacted Social Security left a lot to be desired.
Thanks, and yes, but social security was the first step in setting up a framework that had never even existed before. It was not a patchwork rube goldberg of an existing framework.
A fair comparison would be a public option, or medicare for all (Grayson), which while limited, could be a valid first step for a brand-new framework.
This is not such a thing, but is being sold as if.
imo, there is some validity to the argument. The solution is single-payer. Second best, is to scrap mandatory, and allow some denial for pre-existing, but not in several cases (for example, when one has a pre-existing condition, but also pre-existing coverage and is switching providers to self-insurance, and needs to keep rates low). It’s the jacking up of rates for conditions, not the denial that is the problem.
Last best is the mandate, but that’s the best option for the insurance industry.
Does anyone still seriously think Nancy doesn’t have the votes? I wish it were true, but I’m past the point of hoping and have moved on to the acceptance phase.
Stupak’s phone has been off the hook, as have all numbers for my representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, when Health Care for America tried to connect me it just dropped off. Back to Stupak, his website is one of those that does not accept comments from outside his district, surprisingly the same with Betsy Markey, yet Stupak and others want to make far reaching decisions well beyond their own constituencies. There should be rules in place requiring them to accept e-mail from outside their particular district, after all they’re already free to state that they won’t respond. But to make such important sweeping decisions in a vacuum is wrong. And Stupak is defiantly and stupidly WRONG!
Hilarious. Where do Democrats come up with lines like that and how can they say them with a straight face? But then as they say if you can fake sincerity you can fake anything.
Time to “gitterdone” on health care for America.
Those that oppose health care reform want to see our country fail and big insurance companies win…again.
Those that oppose health care have spent billions trying to stop it.
Today, lets put a stop to them.
Support health care reform and “gitterdone” today !!
How about you “gitterlost”; no one wants to “see our country fail” and it takes a pretentious asshole to say that anyone who opposes this craptastic bill does. There are very salient and compelling reasons to oppose the bill and argue that “the reform” itself will do lasting harm and certainly no foundation for saying that anybody who does has to be unamerican or want the country to fail.
YOu tell him bmaz. I agree with you 100%.
you make an important point.
a VERY important point!
I was so surprised that they did not have Congressman Dingell gavel in the victory last night. He is the face of the historic context of health care reform. I was dissapointed. We toss so many of our elders aside. He should have been in that seat gavelling the vote in. Not Obey.