Friday, November 13, 2009

It's time for Jim Oberstar to take one for the team

Katha Pollit said recently:

You know what I don't want to hear right now about the Stupak-Pitts amendment banning abortion coverage from federally subsidized health insurance policies? That it's the price of reform, and prochoice women should shut up and take one for the team. "If you want to rebuild the American welfare state," Peter Beinart writes in the Daily Beast, "there is no alternative" than for Democrats to abandon "cultural" issues like gender and racial equality. Hey, Peter, Representative Stupak and your sixty-four Democratic supporters, Jim Wallis and other antichoice "progressive" Christians, men: why don't you take one for the team for a change and see how you like it?

Congressman Oberstar, you have one of the safest seats in the United States Congress, why can't YOU take one for the team? You voted for the Stupak amendment that will roll back insurance coverage for women. You aren't one of the Democrats in shaky districts who can't afford to alienate your voters. You will have to have been deceased for many years before the citizens of Minnesota's eighth congressional district stop voting for you.

So why can't YOU buck what you think are the odds to cast a vote to make sure that your constituents stop dying because they don't have health care? Why can't you take a stand and allow a common, legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure be covered by health insurance? Why can't you stand up to legislation that strips rights from half your constituents and say no? Why does it have to be women who again and again take one for the team?

Congressman Oberstar, I think it's time for you to take one for the team, reject the Stupak Amendment, and work to pass health care reform legislation that doesn't take away medical care only from women.

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