November 9, 2009

Clair McCaskill appeared on Morning Joe today to talk about the health care bill that just passed the House and what's next for the Senate. When asked to respond to Rachel Maddow’s comments on Meet the Press that the Stupak amendment is a poison pill that will lose a lot of support for Democrats by women if the amendment is not taken out in conference, Clair McCaskill said this.

McCaskill: Well, I am not sure that it is. Obviously, I have been a pro-choice candidate my entire political career, and obviously there is controversy always surrounding this issue. but we are talking about whether or not people that get public money can buy an insurance policy that has any coverage for abortion. And that is not the majority of America. The majority of America is not going to be getting subsidies from the government. The vast majority of America are going to continue to get their insurance at the workplace just like they do now.

And so, I am not sure that this is going to be enough to kill the bill, and frankly, once again, this is an example of having to govern with moderates. We can't just turn our back on the fact that the reason we are in majority, is because states like Indiana, and Arkansas, and Louisiana, and Missouri, and North Carolina, and Virginia sent Democrats to the Senate.

Since when does “moderate” have to mean anti-choice? Here’s McCaskill’s contact information if you’re as unhappy about this as I am.

Apparently some House progressives aren't going to stand for this as well as Sam Stein reports at the Huffington Post:

If, indeed, the Stupak language makes it into the Senate bill, it would be a major blow to pro-choice advocates. It would also seemingly ensure that the restrictions on abortion access would survive conference committee with the House and end up in the final piece of legislation. If that is the case it sets up a major showdown, once again, in the people's chamber. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), for one, has insisted she and 40 additional colleagues will oppose any final bill that includes the Stupak amendment.

"There's going to be a firestorm here," DeGette told The Washington Post. "Women are going to realize that a Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation that would prohibit women paying for abortions with their own funds. . . . We're not going to let this into law."

Update: Well what do you know. Looks like Sen. McCaskill may be having a change of heart from this morning.

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