Former Democratic congressman: 'It is possible to support Obamacare and Hobby Lobby'

Published: Thursday, March 13 2014 3:10 p.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014 9:03 a.m. MDT

Former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., questions BP CEO Tony Hayward on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Thursday, June 17, 2010, file photo.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

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The cause of providing universal health care has been corrupted by a failure to recognize religious exemptions, according to former Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak.

“As a member of Congress, I was proud to vote for the Affordable Care Act, providing 32 million Americans with access to quality, affordable health care,” Stupak wrote Tuesday in USA Today.

“Today, as a private citizen, I'm proud to stand with the Green and Hahn families and their corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, in seeking to uphold our most cherished beliefs that we, as American citizens, should not be required to relinquish our conscience and moral convictions in order to implement the Affordable Care Act.”

Stupak is responding to the Obama administration's refusal to recognize arts and craft store Hobby Lobby’s request for a religious exemption from the contraception mandate included within the ACA. It was announced in November that the Supreme Court will be ruling on the case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, in June.

Support for Hobby Lobby — and other businesses fighting the mandate — is viewed largely as a conservative cause tied to the desire to repeal the law. Because of this, Stupak chose to speak out as a Democrat with a history of supporting universal health care.

“I had hoped that more of my Democratic colleagues would object to the way the contraception mandate has been applied,” Stupak wrote. “We must honor the abortion conscience principle which the Green and Hahn families are fighting to uphold as well as like-minded Americans who wish to continue to provide health care coverage and preventive care for their employees.”

Read the whole op-ed at usatoday.com

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