Hattiip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Representative Joe Pitts (R. Pa) has introduced a new bill that bans abortion funding from ObamaCare. It largely replicates the language of the old Stupak Amendment. The bill has 57 co-sponsors and growing. Thus far these real pro-life Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Travis Childers of Mississippi, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Jim Marshall of Georgia, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Gene Taylor of Mississippi. I salute each of them. Each of them voted against the final pro-abort version of ObamaCare. Bart Stupak and his “pro-life” Democrats who hid behind the fig leaf of the meaningless executive order in order to vote for ObamaCare, are of course not supporting this legislation. I think this is significant. ObamaCare passed. From the perspective of a truly pro-life Democrat who supported ObamaCare, why not amend the law now to ban abortion funding? Failure to support this legislation should finish the idea that such a Democrat in Congress is in any sense pro-life. This legislation should of course be a major voting issue for all pro-lifers in November
Tennessee is the first state to declare that any health care plan exchanges set up by ObamaCare may not offer abortion coverage:
“No health care plan required to be established in this state through an exchange pursuant to federal health care reform legislation enacted by the 111th Congress shall offer coverage for abortion services.”
The legislation passed by impressive margins: 70 to 23 in the House and 27-3 in the Senate.
Perhaps a sign of public discontent with the passage of ObamaCare, the Republicans now lead by four points, 48-44, on the Gallup Generic Congressional ballot among registered voters. It is rare for Republicans to take the lead in this poll as Gallup notes:
The trend based on registered voters shows how rare it is for the Republicans to lead on this “generic ballot” measure among all registered voters, as they do today. Other recent exceptions were recorded in 1994 — when Republicans wrested majority control from the Democrats for the first time in 40 years — and 2002, when the GOP achieved seat gains, a rarity for the president’s party in midterm elections.
On the other hand, the Democrats are not performing in the poll as they have in years when they have won Congress:
In midterm years when Democrats prevailed at the polls (such as 2006, 1990, and 1986), their net support among registered voters typically extended into double digits at several points during the year — something that has yet to happen in 2010.
Gallup notes the enthusiasm gap that currently exists between the parties:
Gallup will not begin identifying likely voters for the 2010 midterms until later in the year. However, at this early stage, Republicans show much greater enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in the elections.
In other poll news, the Republicans retain a nine point lead, 45-36, over the Democrats on the Rasmussen Generic Congressional ballot of likely voters. Rasmussen also reports that in his latest poll on repeal of ObamaCare, 58% of voters support repeal. Nate Silver at 538, a site which leans left politically, states the following in regard to current generic ballots:
Their bad news is that the House popular vote (a tabulation of the actual votes all around the country) and the generic ballot (an abstraction in the form of a poll) are not the same thing — and the difference usually tends to work to Democrats’ detriment. Although analysts debate the precise magnitude of the difference, on average the generic ballot has overestimated the Democrats’ performance in the popular vote by 3.4 points since 1992. If the pattern holds, that means that a 2.3-point deficit in generic ballot polls would translate to a 5.7 point deficit in the popular vote — which works out to a loss of 51 seats, according to our regression model.
These sorts of questions have been the subject of many, many academic studies, almost all of which involve far more rigor than what I’ve applied here. This is just meant to establish a benchmark. But that benchmark is a really bad one for Democrats. One reasonably well-informed translation of the generic ballot polls is that the Democrats would lose 51 House seats if the election were held today. Read the rest of this entry »
Hattip to Allahpundit at Hot Air. Sometimes life is so much funnier than any comedy ever written. Apparently the wise Congress Critters who passed ObamaCare may have taken away their own health insurance. According to the New York Times:
The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.
But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.
The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.
Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.
Stupak to call it quits? With just a few days to go before the end of this recess, House Democrats are cautiously optimistic that they could get through it without a single retirement announcement. That said, there is still a concern that some important incumbents in districts that they are uniquely suited could call it quits. At the top of the concern list this week: Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak. The Democrat best known this year as the Democrat who delivered the winning margin of votes for the president’s health-care reform bill is said to be simply exhausted. The criticism he received — first from the left, and then from the right — has worn him and his family out. And if he had to make the decision now, he’d probably NOT run. As of this writing, a bunch of senior Democrats (many of the same ones who twisted his arm on the health care vote) are trying to talk him into running. The filing deadline in Michigan is still a month away, but veterans of that state’s politics are skeptical anyone other than Stupak can hold that district in this political climate.
Since his sell-out of the pro-life cause, Bart Stupak (Weasel, Michigan) has been attempting to justify his cave-in. My friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative, has given these efforts a fisking to remember:
Somewhere Doug Kmiec is breathing a sigh of relief, for he is no longer the biggest sell-out to the pro-life cause in modern American politics. As we begin Holy Week, it is appropriate to examine the apology of one Bart Stupak of Michigan.
When I saw that Kathleen Parker’s March 24 op-ed, “Stupak’s original sin,” defined me as a “backstabber,” it reminded me of a Bible verse. Matthew 7:3 asks, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Had Bart been making a jibe at the expense of an individual with a similarly dodgy track record in things cultural, that would have merited a high five. Unfortunately I doubt ole Bart is smart enough to be making such a well-researched dig. Rather, we witness here the first refuge of all left-wing betrayers of the unborn: citation of biblical passages that have absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand. While the writer might feel some sort of sanctimonious justification, the rest of us are left just shrugging our shoulders and thinking, “Okay, you have a research assistant who reads the Bible, do you have anything meaningful to say in reply?”
The true motives of many blogs and organizations claiming to be pro-life have become clear in recent days: to politicize life issues as a means to defeat health care reform. One group even sent an e-mail to supporters saying they are “working feverishly to stop this legislation from going forward.”
Oh burn. Pro-life opponents of this legislation vowed to stop this legislation from going forward. You have clearly caught us in a terrible web of deceit. How dare people who have openly declared their opposition, umm, openly declare their opposition. Next thing you know ole Bart will publicize an email from an AARP representative declaring that they are fighting for the elderly. You really showed us for our hypocrisy.
The pro-life groups rallied behind me — many without my knowledge or consent
It’s good to know that we have reached the point in American politics that politicians must now assent to their support. Something tells me that ole Bart was less annoyed by pro-life support when the donations were rolling in a month ago. Surely now ole Bart will refund every cent of money given by someone whose support he had not consented to. Yeah, if you could just let us know the web address where the suckers could claim their refund, that would be a big help.
The President of Worse Than Murder, Inc, aka Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards has thanked all the nuns who helped get the pro-abort version of ObamaCare passed. My emphasis added:
And in the last days, when Congressman Stupak and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops threatened to bring down health care reform completely over their narrow demands, the true heroine for women’s health was Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She never blinked. In the final hours, when congressional leadership and the White House were scrambling for any vote they could get to reach the magic 216, Speaker Pelosi put herself in the way of the anti-choice steamroller. In private and in public, she vowed that there would be no health care bill if it included the Stupak abortion ban.
And in the final days before the bill was passed, it was the Roman Catholic nuns who most importantly broke with the bishops and the Vatican to announce their support for health care reform. This brave and important move, demonstrating that they cared as much about the health care of families in America as they did about church hierarchy, was a critical demonstration of support. Bart Stupak may not ask the nuns for advice, as he recently announced to the press, but maybe next time he should.
At Planned Parenthood, we’re committed to fight to change the egregious Nelson language in the bill that President Obama signed today, which unjustly treats abortion coverage differently than all other health care. As providers of health care to three million people every year, Planned Parenthood health centers are also prepared to roll up their sleeves and help get more Americans the health care they need. We are pleased that the health care reform bill will extend coverage to millions of women and guarantee access to affordable, lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer and other preventive tests. Women will no longer need to live in fear of being dropped by an insurer because of a pre-existing condition. And, in a huge victory for women’s reproductive health, this bill will significantly increase insurance coverage of reproductive health care, including family planning.
It has been a long and difficult process to get health care passed, and the work isn’t over yet. But we need more than health care; we need women and men elected to office who will stand up for our health and our rights, even when it’s hard. So here’s to the women leaders in Congress — and to the nuns — and to the women everywhere who were counting on them. They need our gratitude and our support.