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Both Sides Hit [Louisiana Senator] Landrieu on Healthcare
LaPolitics.com ^ | August 12, 2009 | John Maginnis

Posted on 08/12/2009 7:26:02 AM PDT by rrstar96

Sen. Mary Landrieu plans to host a town-hall meeting on healthcare reform later this month somewhere in the river parishes. Bring a helmet.

That would be the advice of Democratic congressmen around the country who have been booed, heckled, shouted down and threatened while trying to explain and/or defend their positions on health insurance legislation, particularly the 1,017-page bill that will be on the House floor when lawmakers return from August recess.

Republican operatives and conservative talk show hosts have been blamed for or credited with whipping up the masses, but they didn't wholly manufacture the genuine anger, fear and confusion over an omnibus bill that people felt was being jammed down on them.

Even before the facilitators got involved, one of the first such outbursts of public wrath took place in Reserve, La., last month, when a national rural listening tour of federal Cabinet secretaries, particularly Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, received a hostile earful from a loud and angry crowd.

The prospect of walking into another raucous town-square shout-out doesn't seem to rattle Landrieu, who has been attacked already over national healthcare--not by conservatives but by liberals in her own party. Last month, advocacy groups MoveOn.org and Change Congress ran radio and TV ads, respectively, that painted Landrieu as a toady for the insurance industry because she opposed a government-run health insurance option. She was urged to get in line with other Democrats supporting the government plan that would compete with private insurance.

One month later, the worm it is a-turning.

Even before the town-hall riots of August, the notion of a federally-run insurance program, the centerpiece of the House bill, was starting to founder in the Senate. There, negotiations over an elusive bipartisan bill have been moving away from the government option toward coverage offered by a network of non-profit member-owned cooperatives, which would be subsidized by the feds but run by the states.

Though the bipartisan Senate bill has not taken full shape, it alone among the major bills under consideration would rein in the growth of federal healthcare spending over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The notion of more local control diminishes fear of Big Brother with a needle. Yet critics point out that under a subsidized co-op plan, like with a government plan, cheaper rates would lure many businesses who now offer insurance to employees to drop their private plans for the public model. So when the president says that if you like your insurance policy you can keep it, he should add, "unless your boss chooses the government option or co-op for you."

Landrieu has similar reservations about the government and employers determining the coverage for workers. She and 11 colleagues--six Democrats, six Republicans--have co-sponsored the Healthy Americans Act, which would grant individuals, instead of employers, substantial tax deductions to use to purchase insurance in the marketplace. Everyone would be required to have insurance, but the government would subsidize those with low incomes. Employers would be required to increase wages to replace what they were spending on health insurance. And insurers could not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

It sounds too reasonable and straightforward to be taken seriously in Congress, and it hasn't been yet. A large number of Democrats will not let go of the government option, while many Republicans still oppose required coverage and more government rules.

Frustrated Democrats, angered by the mobbish disruptions in the heartland, might urge the president to pass a bill without any GOP votes. They would do so at their peril, for passing a law is only the first step. Making that much change work, at what cost, and getting the people to like it, will be how healthcare reform is won, or lost.

Sen. Landrieu, meanwhile, seems comfortable on the middle ground she has staked out, though she is scorned on the left and distrusted on the right. Yet the longer she stays there, the closer the debate seems to move toward her. Down home later this month, armed only with her centrist plan, she will stride into the valley of the town-hall meeting, where, who knows, both sides might stop shouting long enough to listen.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: healthcare; healthcareform; healthcarereform; landrieu; louisiana; marylandrieu; obama; obamacare; socialism; socializedmedicine

1 posted on 08/12/2009 7:26:02 AM PDT by rrstar96
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To: lsucat; Roux; Pikachu_Dad; WFTR; chemicalman; abb; Liberty911; CajunConservative; LSUfan; ...

Pelican State ping


2 posted on 08/12/2009 7:27:48 AM PDT by rrstar96 (Strength and Honor!)
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To: rrstar96

The big misunderstanding in this whole thing is the “trying to explain their position”. Can someone please teach these politicians that they do not have a position - their position is that of the people. They are sent to Washignton to enact the will of the people, not push a Usurping Marxist’s agenda. I’m pretty convinced the MAJORITY (you know the class that decides in a majority rule DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC) do not want this.


3 posted on 08/12/2009 7:31:41 AM PDT by texrepub76
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To: rrstar96
Both Parties are ignoring the Brontosaurus in the Middle.

Illegals are flooding in from all over the world, not just Mexico and the Central Americas. Lay out some more freebies and the flood will become a deluge.

Americans, by-en-large, don't want to pay for ever increasing subsidies for those who are not ours. Americans, by-en-large, don't want to be TOLD what to do or be FORCED by government.

As long as politicians ignore this, the anger will increase.

4 posted on 08/12/2009 7:35:59 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: rrstar96

I’m in the area. Need to find out when and where. Want to get the joker posters out on the power poles.


5 posted on 08/12/2009 7:36:04 AM PDT by chemicalman ("There's a sucker born every minute", PTB, "They all voted for Obama", CM.)
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To: rrstar96

Dat’s gonna be a ruckus!

Seriously, she wouldn’t have been re-elected if it wasn’t for the democratic voting block that they left for dead during Katrina.

In Acadiana, she’s as good as dead. Just like Gov.Blanco, from Lafayette, but she couldn’t win her home Parish in her last election.


6 posted on 08/12/2009 7:37:55 AM PDT by bayouranger (The 1st victim of islam is the person who practices the lie.)
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To: rrstar96
co-sponsored the Healthy Americans Act, which would grant individuals, instead of employers, substantial tax deductions to use to purchase insurance in the marketplace. Everyone would be required to have insurance, but the government would subsidize those with low incomes. Employers would be required to increase wages to replace what they were spending on health insurance. And insurers could not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

While this is far more preferrable than the outright fascism of the House bill, it is still idiotic. I get relatively cheap health insurance from my employer because they get group rates. And if everyone is required to have coverage, and pre-existing conditions cannot be a factor, they rates will absolutely skyrocket.

7 posted on 08/12/2009 7:41:21 AM PDT by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: rrstar96
co-sponsored the Healthy Americans Act, which would grant individuals, instead of employers, substantial tax deductions to use to purchase insurance in the marketplace. Everyone would be required to have insurance, but the government would subsidize those with low incomes. Employers would be required to increase wages to replace what they were spending on health insurance. And insurers could not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

While this is far more preferrable than the outright fascism of the House bill, it is still idiotic. I get relatively cheap health insurance from my employer because they get group rates. And if everyone is required to have coverage, and pre-existing conditions cannot be a factor, they rates will absolutely skyrocket.

8 posted on 08/12/2009 7:41:44 AM PDT by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: rrstar96

Dat’s gonna be a ruckus!

Seriously, she wouldn’t have been re-elected if it wasn’t for the democratic voting block that they left for dead during Katrina.

In Acadiana, she’s as good as dead. Just like Gov.Blanco, from Lafayette, but she couldn’t win her home Parish in her last election.


9 posted on 08/12/2009 7:41:57 AM PDT by bayouranger (The 1st victim of islam is the person who practices the lie.)
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To: rrstar96

La. leftist Landrieu has staked out a “middle ground?” Oh please.


10 posted on 08/12/2009 7:43:46 AM PDT by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: rrstar96

11 posted on 08/12/2009 7:58:36 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: bayouranger

Seriously, she wouldn’t have been re-elected if it wasn’t for the democratic voting block that they left for dead during Katrina.

In Acadiana, she’s as good as dead. Just like Gov.Blanco, from Lafayette, but she couldn’t win her home Parish in her last election.

We can only hope to be rid of her. New Orleans is still a player. I am glad Acadiana is waking up to Landrieu. In any event, come re-election time she will be hauling out all her work on wetland preservation, bla, bla, bla. We can make it happen this time, I hope. No more Landrieu.


12 posted on 08/12/2009 8:22:00 AM PDT by Bitsy
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To: rrstar96

I’ve been wondering where she was hiding.


13 posted on 08/12/2009 1:17:40 PM PDT by lsucat
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