Stupak Faces Challenger in August Primary

Comments

1
In today's Corporate America, the only thing that matters in a primary is how much money in donations a candidate gets and how much money he - and I do mean he - has foreign sovereign wealth funds direct their US subsidiaries to finance attack ads against his primary opponent.

Unless everyone - and I do mean everyone - pitches in.

Corporations don't have friends and family who live in the district, and if found out helping the incumbent, it's unlikely the incumbent will survive the local paper media firestorm or the free signs for said primary opponents put up by local people early on, or all the local district Ds that work tirelessly to retake America one district at a time from our corporate overlords the activist Supreme Court says rule over us.

ACTIONS.

Not words.
2
Well, that's nice and all, but the damage has already been done.
3
The Stupak amendment is dense? It's 3 pages, and is no more onerous than what's already in the senate bill.
4
now, that's a plan to get a Stupak Democrat to change his vote on hcr and vote for the senate bill!

Actually use pressure from below. Actually use grass roots! Actually...like um actually try to get what you want!

Genius. Total fucking genius.

Amazing that the Obama white house finally came up with a plan!

Oh wait -- this isn't their plan. Their announced policy is to support every incumbent Democrat.

Really twisting those Stupakian arms, mmm?

Let's all donate $20 each right now to this challenger and push push push so that Stupak hears a new set fo demands from his disctrict, to vote for the fucking hcr already.

We've got to do it, clearly Obama isn't interested in jumping on board this kind of thing.
5
and more...Stupak's website shows his district is Michigan, "It contains the entire Upper Peninsula as well as the northern part of the Lower Peninsula"...vast areas....here's where Will is wrong, in the day of social networking and internet you don't need a ton of money for tv dollars.....a district like that, it's only 700,000 population like any district....say 370,000 Democrats... if half turn out that's 170,000 in a primary....to win the primary you need only 90,000....now there's easily 10,000 people in that district who love healrth care reform and who can turn on 10 friends each, IF the challenger is seen as viable, so donate now!
6
Meanwhile, the clueless hacks at OFA are e mailing us in Seattle urging us to waste time calling our representative to urge him to vote yes for health care reform. Who is this idiot Mitch Stewart who's gotten the Obama list and who's wasting time on crap like this? McDermott is like the most solid vote in the nation.

This is so lame, it's ridiculous.

What OFA and Obama and Mitch Steward oughter be doin' is telling us in Seattle to donate now to the Stupak challenger to pressure Stupak to fucking change his vote. We already got McDermott on board, jesus h. christ, the vaunted Obama machine is in total fuck up mode.
7
The site of the largest daily paper in the Upper Peninsula is http://www.miningjournal.net/ & the biggest/only TV news station is http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/ in case anyone wants to send in letters to the editor about Stupak. Though I'm not sure how they'll respond to letters from uber liberal seattleites, so you might want to litter your letter's with "ehs" & "aboots" to seem more like a local.
8
I wrote to Stupak and did actually get a (form) response, but it was clear he was trying to not really address the questions I asked about abortion. Glad he has a challenger - here's her actblue page for donations.
http://www.actblue.com/page/conniesalton…

From Stupak:
"Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform. I appreciated hearing from you on this important issue.

After months of negotiations, Congress has moved a step closer than ever before to passing legislation that will provide access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) by a vote of 220 to 215 on November 7, 2009. I voted in support of this critical legislation.

I have long advocated for health care reform. In my role as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I have held numerous hearings over the past three years to highlight the need to reform our nation's health insurance industry and health care system. My hearings exposed abusive insurance industry practices like purging small business from insurance coverage by raising rates so high businesses can no longer afford insurance. The Subcommittee heard from individuals who, due to no fault of their own, had their insurance canceled after they became seriously ill, a practice known as rescission. We heard from seniors who were tricked into purchasing Medicare Advantage plans that provided less coverage than they had through traditional Medicare. And we exposed nursing homes that put profits above patient care.

Almost 50 million people are living in the United States without health care coverage. Approximately 82 percent of these uninsured individuals have a full or part-time job. Unfortunately, it is becoming more difficult for employers to offer affordable health insurance to their employees. Coverage is becoming more expensive and less comprehensive, with high deductibles, high co-pays and coverage limits.

In my travels and town hall meetings around Northern Michigan, I have witnessed the struggles our families and employers face with our health care system. In Michigan, from 2000 to 2007, employer sponsored annual health insurance premiums rose from $6,817 to $12,151, an increase of 78.2 percent. Over the same period, the median earnings of Michigan's workers increased from $25,910 to $27,096, an increase of only 4.6 percent. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan customers are seeing their health insurance premiums increase 22 to 40 percent this year even as inflation remains flat. Clearly these skyrocketing health care costs are unsustainable for families, businesses and our government.

Health care is not a privilege it is a basic right that should be afforded to all Americans. In reforming health care, Congress is building on the existing framework by making it easier for employers to provide health insurance through government-sponsored programs.

The health care bill went through the committee I sit on, Energy and Commerce. On July 31, 2009, I voted against the committee "mark" of the bill. Although the bill included positive reforms that would ensure health care coverage for 97 percent of Americans and would fully pay for health care reform without increasing the federal budget deficit, I still had concerns that were not addressed during committee consideration. These concerns included the bill; did not effectively control rising health care costs, did not do enough to encourage true competition in the health insurance market, and built on a system that rewards ineffectiveness instead of quality and value. I was also concerned that the bill opened the door for public funding to pay for abortion.

After the committee work, I continued working to improve the legislation. For the next five months, I worked as part of a small group of Members to change the way the federal government reimburses health care providers by focusing on quality health outcomes rather than the quantity of procedures performed. Because of our work, health care reimbursements will now transition from a traditional fee-for-service system that rewards health providers for the number of procedures they perform to a system based on quality health outcomes. This approach is widely seen as an effective way to lower health care costs and ensure that patients in all regions of the country are treated equally. The quality care proposal is included in H.R. 3962.

An agreement was also reached with the Speaker to include a provision to strip the health insurance industry of its anti-trust exemption. With anti-trust protection, the federal government is powerless to protect consumers from collusion, price fixing and other abusive practices engaged in by our nation's health insurers. Health insurance is one of the few industries not subject to federal anti-trust laws and it is consumers who pay the price. For six years I have offered amendments to repeal the anti-trust exemption and I am pleased the Speaker included a repeal of the anti-trust exemption in H.R. 3962.

By working with my Pro-Life colleagues and with Speaker Pelosi, I was able to secure an up or down vote on my amendment with regards to federal funding of abortion. My amendment does one very simple thing: It applies current law (the Hyde Amendment), which bars federal funding for abortion except in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother, to the health care reform bill. The Hyde Amendment has been the law of the land on federal funding of abortion since 1977 and applies to all other federally-funded health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the VA and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). My amendment is not new federal abortion policy but continues current law.

My amendment has no impact on those individuals with private insurance who do not receive affordability credits and in no way prohibits any individual from purchasing a supplemental abortion coverage policy. Health insurance companies can still offer policies that cover abortion; insurance companies just can't sell those policies to individuals using affordability credits to pay for the policy. My amendment was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 240 to 194 on November 7, 2009 and was included in H.R. 3962. Without the votes of 41 Democratic Pro-Life supporters of my amendment, health care reform never would have passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to these changes, the bill already included many important provisions that benefit Northern Michigan. The health care legislation would result in key improvements to Medicare for seniors including improved prescription drug coverage beginning with an additional $500 in benefits next year and fully closing the "donut hole" in 2016. Seniors on Medicare will also, for the first time ever, have preventative care, such as check-ups, routine exams and screenings such as mammograms, prostate exams and diabetes tests, covered at 100 percent cost.

The Veterans Administration (VA) would be exempt from any changes under the legislation, ensuring that care is unchanged for veterans.

Most importantly, the health care legislation is paid for and will not add to deficit spending or the national debt. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees that the bill does not add to the federal budget deficit.

The bill includes three separate provisions to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving taxpayer assistance for health care coverage. Section 347 of the bill prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving federal subsidies to purchase health insurance. Section 1786 of the bill, also known as the Space Amendment that I supported during Committee consideration, prohibits Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for illegal immigrants. The manager's amendment to H.R. 3962 included additional strong requirements for verification of citizenship or proof of being lawfully in the country before receiving any benefits.

H.R. 3962 is supported by numerous organizations including AARP, the American Medical Association (AMA), the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, American Cancer Society, American Nurses Association, Communications Workers of America (CWA), UAW and the United Steel Workers.

The health care debate now moves to the U.S. Senate. The Senate proposal contains insurance regulatory reforms similar to those in H.R. 3962, such as preventing health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals on the basis of pre-existing conditions and eliminating lifetime caps on coverage.

One key difference between the House and Senate bills is that the Senate bill includes a state "opt-out" provision for the public option. Once the House and Senate pass their respective bills, negotiations will begin to craft one final health care bill in a conference committee.

Every day I hear the stories of my constituents - the insured, the uninsured and the underinsured - about how the current health care system has left them helpless, bankrupt and disillusioned. By passing H.R. 3962, Congress has moved the first step toward ensuring that the cost of health care in America never results in our citizens having to file bankruptcy because of illness, disease or injury.

A great deal of confusion exists regarding the House health care reform proposal. To help clear up some of the myths surrounding the legislation, I have prepared answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the bill. I have enclosed a copy with this letter and the document can be viewed on my web site at www.house.gov/stupak.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me again if my staff or I can be of any assistance."