Far from being over, opponents vowed that the battle over healthcare “reform” is really just getting started after the measure won narrow House approval on March 21. States, non-profit groups, citizens and federal lawmakers are all preparing to fight back against the legislation, pursuing various strategies including nullification through state laws, repealing the bill in Congress and challenging its constitutionality in court.
Satisfying the simultaneous desires to be a member of the winning team and yet be worthy of individual attention, self-described “pro-life” Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan finagled a feting by President Obama hours before the vote on the healthcare “reform” bill. To the surprise of no one familiar with President Obama’s ability to attract allies, Representative Stupak emerged from the meeting and anti-climatically declared his intent to support the bill.
It’s becoming customary to pass healthcare bills late at night and on holidays and weekends. It happened again Sunday night as the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 for and 212 against to pass healthcare legislation and give President Obama the landmark slice of social engineering that was the premier plank of his platform.
The Stupak amendment is back and may yet derail or delay passage of healthcare reform legislation that the House of Representatives is expected to vote on tomorrow. Last year, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) managed to get language into the House-passed healthcare bill that forbids federal funding of abortion under the healthcare measure and stipulates that nothing in the legislation or the rules to be promulgated by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare will require any health insurance policy to include abortion coverage. The Senate bill, now before the House, lacks the clear ban that Stupak is demanding in order to support the bill. Other anti-abortion Democrats are expected to oppose the bill without the Stupak amendment.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were positively giddy on Thursday morning when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released preliminary estimates of the financial impact of the House reconciliation package on national healthcare. The package is said to mirror the proposal President Obama outlined in February as a compromise between the bills passed in the House and Senate last year.