Stupak says there's no deal near on abortion in health bill

There's "no such thing" as a compromise brewing on abortion language in healthcare legislation, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich. ) said Tuesday.

Stupak, who has held off supporting fellow Democrats' health reform bill along with a handful of other centrists in his party, suggested that an Associated Press article had overstated the extent to which he and party leaders might be nearing an agreement over the healthcare bill's support for plans covering abortion.

"Everyone’s going around saying there’s a compromise—there’s no such thing," Stupak told the conservative Weekly Standard.

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Stupak stressed that his words at a town hall meeting on Monday, where he said he's "more optimistic than [he] was a week ago," referred to just having his first conversations now with House leaders on the impasse over abortion-rights.

The Michigan Democrat has pushed to include provisions that would restrict federal subsidies in the proposed health program from going to support plans covering abortion. Stupak has said that he and other abortion-rights-opposing Democrats would not support the Senate bill's language on the issue, which they say doesn't go far enough.

Stupak said that he wouldn't settle for a guarantee to revisit the issue later, and that a solution to the issue would have to be tied to the current process -- though he's not sure how that would work.

"If they say 'we’ll give you a letter saying we'll take care of this later,' that’s not acceptable because later never comes," Stupak told the Standard's John McCormack. "No one has said here's how you do it, here's the legislative scheme."

Still, Stupak said he's optimistic a deal can be struck because, "where there's a will, there's a way."

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