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Stupak Cites Passage of Health Reform as Reason for Retiring

Outgoing Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) met with reporters today just a few hours after the news leaked that the 18-year House veteran had decided to hang up his hat at the end of this year. After suffering a barrage of criticisms over his stand on abortion during the health care debate — first from liberals and then from conservatives — speculation was that he was retiring from the exhaustion. Yet Stupak denied that Friday, saying that, after passage of the health reform bill, he felt that his work in Congress was done.

“My friends and family know that during the last several election cycles, when it seemed like health care reform was impossible in Washington, I considered retiring from Congress,” he said. “But in each of the past several election cycles, I chose to continue to serve the people of the first district because I felt we still had work to do.”

Today, children can no longer be denied care because of a pre- existing condition and no insurance company can drop you for your family from care or cap your insurance coverage due to a serious injury or chronic illness. Today, because of reforms, seniors will be able to afford their prescription drugs and Americans will receive preventive care that they need. And today, small businesses can receive tax credits to make employee insurance coverage more affordable.

After 18 years, together, we’ve accomplished what you sent me to Washington to do, health care for all Americans.

Stupak said he’s ready to take on “new challenges,” though he didn’t say what they might be.

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