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Dem claims he has enough pro-life votes to defeat health bill

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The co-author of a House amendment that would exclude abortion from health care reform says efforts to overhaul the US’s health care system will fail if the amendment is removed.

US House Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) told Fox News’ Fox & Friends that if his contentious amendment is stripped from the House bill, it will lose 15 to 20 pro-life votes in the House, meaning it wouldn’t have the votes necessary to pass the House.

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“They’re not going to take it out,” The Hill quotes Stupak as saying. “If they do, health care will not move forward.”

But that claim was immediately disputed by another House representative, Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado and co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, who said that Stupak’s math is wrong, because many of those 15 to 20 votes were conservative Democrats who voted in favor of the amendment, but still voted against the health care bill as a whole.

“I think [Stupak] won’t have the votes when people explain to those members what exactly the Stupak amendment does,” DeGette told ABC News.

Progressive politicians and reproductive-rights advocates have been raising the alarm about the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the House’s health care bill. The amendment would deny public subsidies to health insurance plans that cover abortion.

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Pro-choice activists say the move could effectively further limit access to abortions if health insurers decide to drop abortion coverage in order to qualify for subsidies. And the lack of coverage could, in turn, discourage doctors from providing abortions.

Pro-life groups, such as the US Catholic church, argue that the amendment is necessary because without it health reform would be tantamount to forcing people to condone abortions just by paying their taxes.

DeGette argued that the Catholic church’s involvement in health reform is an encroachment on the separation of church and state.

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“Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

Despite an outpouring of anger by many women’s groups over the church’s push to ensure abortion is not covered under health care reform, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is standing its ground.

“To limit our teaching or governing to what the state is not interested in would be to betray both the constitution of our country and, much more importantly, the Lord himself,” said Cardinal Francis George, as quoted at the Washington Times.

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Over the weekend, senior White House adviser David Axelrod said President Obama opposes the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

“The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion,” Axelrod told CNN’s John King. “He’s going to work with the Senate and the House to try to ensure that at the end of the day the status quo is not changed.”

But, as Politico noted, Axelrod would not say if Obama would veto a health care plan that included the abortion restriction.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer

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President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.

"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"

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‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’

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The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."

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Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’

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President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.

"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.

"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."

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