Politics

Bart Stupak ‘accosted’ in airports one year after healthcare reform

One year later, former Congressman Bart Stupak is still feeling the effects of the critical role he played in healthcare reform. In an interview with ‘The Atlantic,’ Stupak said he still gets “accosted” by angry citizens.

Stupak, a pro-life Democrat from Michigan who led early opposition to the health care reform bill based on its abortion language, eventually reached a compromise with the White House that garnered pro-life support and led to the bill’s passage.

“Someone will come out and just bitch me out,” said Stupak, who received a death threat the day after Obama signed the bill into law. “It’s not unusual that when I go through an airport . . . that I will get at least one person cussing me out.”

Stupak stands by his role in the bill’s passage, however. “It was a good bill,” he said, “Proud to have voted for it.”

And he doesn’t engage those people who may disagree. “I’m not going to get in an argument with somebody in an airport — that’s ridiculous,” he said, “I just, you know, say ‘have a good day,’ move on.”

Given the political climate surrounding the bill, Stupak decided not to run for reelection and is now a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. However, he still supports the bill he helped to pass.

“It’s not the most perfect law,” he said, “and there’s going to be changes . . . but, boy, it’s a good foundation from which to build off.”