Former Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak said Tuesday he does not regret his 2010 “yes” vote for the health-care law.
Stupak, who left office in 2011, was on the fence about the law until he secured some assurances that the law would not fund abortion services.
“No, I don’t regret the vote,” Stupak said Tuesday on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” on the Fox News Channel. “I’m proud to vote. I always felt that health care should be a right, not a privilege in this country — one of the reasons why I ran for Congress. I’m glad to have helped accomplish that goal.”
Stupak argued that the slightly higher costs were just part of the reality, and that the pros outweighed the cons.
“Well, there are going to be — people are going to pay more, sure,” Stupak said. “I mean the surtax in my congressional district, less than one tenth of one percent has to pay any more. But yet I had 50,000 people in my district who are uninsured at the time who will benefit from this piece of legislation. So when you weigh the equities of it, those of us who can pay a little bit more are going to pay a little bit more for our health insurance. Those who have nothing — who never had much hope or security now have some underneath the Affordable Care Act.”
Cavuto challenged Stupak on some of his arguments, including the rollout itself and the lack of choice the Obamacare exchanges offer.
“I can tell you in retrospect that the policy decisions behind affordable health care are sound,” Stupak said. “The rollout has been a disaster. And I’m befuddled as to why it has to be such a difficult thing especially after we did the Y2K rollout, the digital TV. … It’s not one size fits all. In D.C. here, you have about 32 different plans you can choose from.”
Cavuto continued to challenge Stupak on those grounds, with the Michigan Democrat ultimately declaring Obamacare to be a “sound piece of legislation.”
CAVUTO: I’ve talked to many people the past couple of weeks, congressman, who are footing bills for things they’re way past the age for, and they go on and say “this is what we have to get. If we want to fine select or fine tune a policy, it is not an option for us.”
STUPAK: I guess I’m going to have to disagree. Even my state of Michigan, there is about 20-some different plans you can choose from.
CAVUTO: Millions of people are telling me this. Millions of people are there.
STUPAK: I read the editorial yesterday in The Washington Post from three different governors who said, “Hey, it is really working pretty well.”
CAVUTO: Are you honestly believing that? Congressman, do you honestly believe that all these problems that millions are having are just exaggerations?
STUPAK: No, I’m not saying that everyone is exaggerating. What I’m saying, there are going to be ups and downs in this health-care rollout. No doubt about it, no doubt about it. But overall, sound piece of legislation. Let’s give everybody affordable, quality [health care].