2017-08-05 / Columnists

Michigan Politics

Many Contenders for August Primaries
By George Weeks

For those interested in evolution of the health care issue that has been dominant in Congress, a widely-touted must-read is a book just published by Michigan’s 1993 to 2011 First District Congressman Bart Stupak (DEscanaba), who was one of the best that Up North sent to Washington.

The book, replete with examples of congressional inner workings, is “For All Americans: The Dramatic Story Behind the Stupak Amendment and the Historic Passage of Obamacare,” published by Covenant Books, Inc.

“Without Bart Stupak, there would have been no Affordable Care Act – it’s that simple,” said U.S. Representative John B. Larson (D-Connecticut), 2009 to 2013 chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “His leadership and profile in courage to put the health care of the American people first instead of politics is what made him not only a remarkable legislator, but what makes him a remarkable man.”

Who better to address the subject than ex-U.S. Representative John D. Dingell (D-Dearborn), longest-serving member of the U.S. House (1955 to 2015), and a champion on health care, as was his father as a congressman, as acknowledged by Stupak in the book. Dingell says of Stupak in the book:

“In all my years in Congress, there were only a few truly historic, dramatic moments in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Bart Stupak’s speech on March 21, 2010, which saved the Affordable Care Act and provided health care for all Americans, was one of those moments. For months, Stupak went from being hero to goat, goat to hero, but he never lost focus of completing America’s 100-year quest to provide health care for all its citizens.

“Bart Stupak played one of the greatest hands of legislative poker - and won.

“Stupak’s book details the complex maneuverings of Congress and accurately describes attempts at derailing both him and the legislative process. This book is a must-read for those wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of our democratic process, the inner workings of Congress, and the intricacies of providing health care for all Americans.”

I was particularly impressed by this comment by Professor Charles C. Camosy, of Fordham University:

“This book will be of interest to anyone who values just distribution of health care resources. But it is absolutely a must-read for health care professionals, bioethicists, and politicos who focus on this subject. Stupak was the rare politician who was both steadfast in his principles (annoying both Republicans and Democrats in the process) and also an astute politician who could get things done.”

George Weeks, a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, for 22 years was political columnist for The Detroit News and previously with UPI as Lansing bureau chief and foreign editor in Washington. His weekly Michigan Politics column is syndicated by Superior Features.

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