Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 22, 2009

LANDRIEU'S LINE IN THE SAND.... The AP reports this morning on the Senate Democrats "who are more concerned about their next election or feel they have little to lose by opposing their party's hierarchy," and who may stand in the way of health care reform.

Many of the usual suspects were mentioned, but one stood out.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, where Obama lost by a similar margin, said she might be willing to let some states try "fallback or trigger" mechanisms that would create a public option if residents don't have enough insurance choices.

But she told reporters, "I'm not for a government-run, national, taxpayer-subsidized plan, and never will be."

That is, except for Medicare, which is a taxpayer-subsidized national plan that Landrieu supports.

And Medicaid, which is also a taxpayer-subsidized national plan that Landrieu supports.

And the V.A. system, which is also a taxpayer-subsidized national plan that Landrieu supports.

And S-CHIP, which is also a taxpayer-subsidized national plan that Landrieu supports.

And the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, which is also a taxpayer-subsidized national plan that Landrieu supports -- and takes personal advantage of.

Yes, except for all the "government-run, national, taxpayer-subsidized plans" Landrieu already favors, she's not for them and she never will be.

Good to know.

Steve Benen 10:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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What about the government-run, national, taxpayer subsidized plan Sen. Landrieau enjoys for her role in the Senate? She forgot that one too.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on October 22, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

In other words: "I'm not going to endanger the campaign contributions I receive from health care interests. Without them, I may not be able to be re-elected, and my job is more important to me than the people I am supposed to represent."

Posted by: citizen_pain on October 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, you forgot about Tricare, a government run, national, taxpayer subsidized health insurance plan for active duty military members, retirees, and their families. My guess is the good Senator from LA supports that program also.

Posted by: popeye on October 22, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck you people.......I just want my 'free lunch' provided to me by Health Insurance Industry ...

Posted by: Sen. Landrieau on October 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

According to the Kaiser website, about $10b of the $22b in total health care spending in LA is from Medicare, Medicaid, and S-schip. But there are also federal health care costs via HIV-AIDS projects, and let's not forget the federally negotiated tobacco settlement, and the federal workers in LA and their system, + military+emergency funds for Katrina-related health insurance.

Oh - and the billions of dollars we spend on flood control to keep s. La from being completely flooded; Oh, and the management of offshore minerals royalties that the federal government oversees and distributes to the state; and the systems of waterway transport; and the rice subsidies that protect LA rice growers from cheaper imports; ditto sugar .....

So, nope. No more federal programs. Except for the ones that keep my sorry assed state from sinking into the ocean and a sea of poverty and poor health.

Posted by: bigwisc on October 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Ahh, it's just the AP, the organization that has elevated concern trolling to corporate-mission-statement status.

Posted by: SixStringFanatic on October 22, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Screw her. Let her filibuster if she wants to.

Posted by: Christopher on October 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

God but she's awful. At best the lesser of evils and even then just by a smidgen. It could be her epitaph:

Here lies Mary Landrieu, slightly less evil than Diaper Dave.

Posted by: Michael on October 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Is Landrieu cognizant she represents the tax payers in her State? Not insurance, oil or military contractors?

Posted by: MLJohnston on October 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

As much as I despise her, this is not a Landrieu problem so much as it's an ignorant Louisiana voter problem.

She's saying this shit because more of her constituents want to hear it than will fight against it.

I've loved Louisiana all my life, and spent a whole lot of time visiting there. But these days, looking at Vitter's, Jindal's and Landrieu's towering idiocies, I'm about ready to give up on the place. The tradition-superstition that's so charming in food, music, literature, architecture and lore is incredibly frustrating when you're trying to make policy that will actually feed and employ people and keep them well and reasonably safe.

Posted by: shortstop on October 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Is she stupid, or just criminally dishonest?

Posted by: Go, Sestak! on October 22, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

She is not of the body.

Sorry, someone had to say it.

Posted by: JM on October 22, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

It's all about politics and optics for Landrieu and the red state Dems. They have to appeal to a fair number of Fox News viewers in order to survive. Sometimes it would be helpful if we framed issues in a way that the Landrieus of the party can stay inside the tent looking outward.

The 'opt-out' compromise is a good one because it gives the ConservaDems the opportunity to vote for health insurance reform without losing chunks of support in their home states. Then, when the spotlight is turned elsewhere, the home state government can quietly opt in. The stimulus bill is a good example of how this plays out. The Jindals of the world made a stink of it when it was proposed, but now they're making sure to smile for the cameras at every ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Posted by: danimal on October 22, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Is she stupid, or just criminally dishonest?"

As we say down here in LA, "It aint't the heat, it's the stupidity."

Her poor daddy, who did so much for the people of N.O., cannot be happy with her.

Posted by: bubba on October 22, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I am not sure of the relevance of this at all, but it is a pedantic observation I keep on meaning to point out:

Medicaid -- at least in NY -- is not a 'government-run' system. It would probably be better off if it was, but all the government determines is eligibility. They 'put you on' but then you are assigned to a group run by an insurance company -- you can choose a different one if you want -- and it is their regulations that you and your doctor have to figure out and follow.

(I recently had to take over a month to get it through my doctor's head -- he's a great doctor, but not so great on paperwork -- that for my particular group to approve my lidoderm pain patches, he'd have to call them himself, that they wouldn't accept a call from his office staff on pain medication. And yes, Dr. A., they will approve renewals in this call.)

If Madicaid had a single set of rules, they'd probably include some absurdities, but at least they'd be consistent -- and every doctor in the country wouldn't find it necessary to hire 'Medical Billing Assistants' whose main job is just keeping the different pkans straight.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on October 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The public option is self-sustaining after start-up in all of the versions being debated and the same subsidies available to those middle and lower income people getting insurance are available both in the private market and public market so it's not truly a subsidy, it's a progressive tax cut.

So Landrieu can still vote for the bill after all of her noise.

Posted by: joejoejoe on October 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Is she also against FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers?

Posted by: doubtful on October 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

God, how I dispise southerners.

Posted by: rbe1 on October 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK


I'm a southerner. And I can spell despise, though I don't like to cast it about so freely as you apparently do.

So I guess you objected to the fifty-state strategy that sought to include rather alienate people from all regions? And I suppose you would prefer a smaller, more ideologically pure Democratic Party? Please, rbe1, give us more of your fascinating political insight.

Posted by: MudFunk on October 22, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think this has been said clearly enough (in the comments above or in Steve's post):

The Public Option would NOT be subsidized with taxpayer dollars.

The Public Option would be funded SOLELY through its premiums.

If the Public Option needed more money to provide cover its clients health benefits, it would have to raise its premiums; it could NOT use tax payer dollars.

I think that many people think of a government-run program as a program that is funded with their tax dollars and/or a program that doesn't follow market rules (because real business competing in a market do not have tax payer dollars to support them or bail them out).

Either Sen. Landrieu is being blatantly dishonest (claiming to oppose the public option in part because it is a "taxpayer-subsidized plan") OR she simply doesn't understand what the public option is or does.

However, I cannot believe that- at some point over the past 6 months or so- other Senators have not sat down with her and explained point blank that the public option would NOT be funded with taxpayer dollars, but rather the public plan would depend solely on revenue collected from its premiums.

Therefore, I guess I have no choice but to go with the much more likely option that she is simply engaging in some blatant dishonesty.

Posted by: Emes on October 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Landrieu is either a dope or a dupe (corporate). Maybe both.

Posted by: paul from nj on October 22, 2009 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Every Republican on Social Security or Medicare is a corrupt, dishonest hypocrite.

Why is it that Republicans are the first in line for a government handout?

And how is it that the wealthiest Republicans get to push out of line the least amongst US?

Republicans are Goats and Christ is keeping track.

Posted by: Independent on October 23, 2009 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK
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