Former Congressman Bart Stupak admits a compromise he made with Barack Obama to pass the Affordable Care Act is invalidated by HHS’s controversial mandate for taxpayer-funded contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs.
Today Breeanne Howe of RedState and I attended a Democrats For Life panel during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. An attendee stood up and asked Bart Stupak and a panel of pro-life if the HHS contraception mandate has put them in a difficult position.
Stupak responded, “I am perplexed and disappointed that, having negotiated the Executive Order with the President, not only does the HHS mandate violate the Executive Order but it also violates statutory law.”Watch the video here, courtesy of RedState.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, passed in Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’s Senate in December of 2009, and the vote for final passage was in the hands of the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. Despite healthy majorities in all necessary branches, the Democrats were struggling to secure the votes that they needed to pass.
The final holdout was Stupak, a pro-life Democrat from Michigan’s 1st District. He and a group of six pro-life Democrats united in their opposition to the bill and its violation of the Hyde Amendment, which prevented the public funding of abortion and protected the conscience clause. Theirs was a contentious fight that went on for days, while tens of thousands of Tea Party protesters rallied on the west lawn of the Capitol in opposition.
Late that Sunday afternoon, Stupak held a presser and announced that a deal had been made. President Obama would sign an Executive Order protecting the Hyde Amendment, preventing the public funding of abortion and the conscience clause. Critics watching the deal perceived the move as a blatant hustle for votes, and Stupak was labeled a sell-out. He was replaced by Tea Party candidate Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) in November.
Conservatives cautioned that the Executive Order was cheap political cover that could just as easily be undone by the President.
It took him a few years, but apparently Stupak has come to that realization as well.