Skip to comments.Sen. Mary Landrieu holds off on taking health care stand
Posted on 11/21/2009 2:44:51 PM PST by docbnj
Sen. Mary Landrieu holds off on taking health care stand, while pressing for aid for Louisiana WASHINGTON (Nov. 20) -- Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., remained mum Thursday on whether she will deliver a crucial vote Saturday night to enable the Senate to debate health-care reform when it returns from the Thanksgiving holiday. But Landrieu has already succeeded in adding a provision to the 2,074-page Senate version of the health care bill unveiled this week that would provide Louisiana between $100 million and $300 million in Medicaid funding in fiscal 2011. "Look," said [Louisiana secretary of health and hospitals] Alan Levine, who has been lobbying the administration and Congress on the FMAP issue for eight months, "it's good to have a senator in a position to be able to make demands like that."
(Excerpt) Read more at landrieu.senate.gov ...
Harry Reid is a pimp and these are his whores.
crooked deals...Lousiana has already gotten a lot of aid...
A good whore knows when to get the money up front.
Landrieu is a plucked duck. Lincoln too.
Oooops, I meant to say “blank” check ~ really!
First freudian slip at FR.
Just how many whores are there in Louisiana?
I think it was the immortal words of Blago who said : “this is a f***kin goldmine”....
All the protestations to the contrary, we are soooo screwed.
“Just how many whores are there in Louisiana?”
At least one.
it’s called bribery, and it should be punishable....
She poses as a conservative Democrat.
Senator Mary Landrieu could have stopped this bill tonight by voting no on letting this monstrous socialist bill come to the floor. The democrats (demonRATS) need 60 out of 100 votes for this and without Landrieu only have 59 as ALL Republicans are voting to kill this bill tonight (God bless all of the Republican senators).
Tonight ,in the biggest vote ever, ALL democrat senators are voting to effectively pass this bill and all Republicans are voting to kill this bill. So I don't want to hear anymore how the parties are the same, Michael Savage's liberal rantings nothwhistanding.
Any of the 58 democrats and 2 independents could vote no tonight and this bill is dead. So then this nightmare would be over and we could all enjoy our holidays. The fact that not a singe one of these Democrat villains could vote for freedom/prosperity/capitalism and against socialism/tyranny/starvation proves that Democrats and the Democrat party are the center of evil in the U.S., and that the Democrat party and Democrats are the most deadly threat to the American people.
So this is the biggest vote ever as the passing of this bill will set the U.S. on the road to socialism , socialism which will make the American people starving slaves of the government.
I hope all Freepers and bloggers, and lurkers too, will join me in posting on Internet blogs exposing this satanic Landrieu, and how she is responsible for putting the U.S. on the road to socialism.
I am In Louisiana. Believe me I know how evil Mary Landrieu is and this little stunt, voting yes for this socialist bill when the democrats need her vote and no when the Democrats don't need her vote , proves that she is evil incarnate.
How can Democrats,including Landrieu sleep at night?
she might get the money for her area but she’ll be out of a job.
that is something she needs to think about
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/21/2009
Landrieu Floor Statement on Motion to Proceed to Senate Health Care Bill
WASHINGTON -- United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced, on the Senate floor, that she will be voting in favor of starting debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Sen. Landrieu said:
"Madam President, I first want to commend my colleague, Senator Cantwell, the Senator from Washington State, who has worked so hard and so long and in such a professional way. She has been extremely helpful to me through this process, and I want to acknowledge that and thank her.
"Before I make a statement, I also want to comment about a few other colleagues who have been extremely helpful and supportive, not just to me but I think to the entire Senate, beginning with Senator Harry Reid, our leader, who, with patience and persistence and care, has led us to a bill that is before the Senate. The question today is whether we should proceed. I would like to say that, in my view, no other Member of the Senate could have accomplished what he has today. I think many Senators share that sentiment.
"No. 2, I want to recognize the extraordinary work of the Senator from Oregon, Senator Ron Wyden, who, 2 years ago, before the Presidential election had really gotten underway, before it was really ever clear as to who might win, Senator Wyden put down a bill called the Healthy Americans Act, which I was very proud to support, and I still am so proud of that effort today. That bill has the support seven Republicans and seven Democrats. It is a truly bipartisan effort that would accomplish, in my view, what many Americans are asking for: a marketplace that is fixed and reformed, more affordable choices for individuals and small businesses and families, and a real effort to curb the rising and alarming cost to the Federal taxpayers, given that the percentage now of our GDP spent on health care is almost exceeding 16 percent, twice as high as any nation in the world. That is alarming. The Healthy Americans Act went a long way to help frame my thoughts on this debate. We are going to continue to work together through this process.
"I also thank Senator Blanche Lincoln who, because of her persistent leadership, has pushed and prodded Members of this body to ensure that we had the time necessary to review this bill. In so doing, she helped to assure our constituents, whether they are for or against the direction we are moving, knew that we had the time necessary to make an informed decision. I think I have used that time very well these last 2 1/2 days. I have been in meetings with economists, on the phone with health care experts, talking with people from my State as well as around the Nation. I have used that time well and wisely. Senator Lincoln led the charge to ensure that we had the time we needed, and I am glad to have supported her in that effort. I know she will be speaking on the floor later today, giving her final views on where we are. I commend her for her leadership.
"Madam President, I come to the floor today to acknowledge those members, but also to speak on the business before the Senate today, and that is the question of whether to proceed to debate on the Patient Protection and Affordability Act, a bill that is the best work of the Senate to date on a subject of significant importance to the people of my State and the country. I have decided to vote today to move forward on this important debate.
"My vote should in no way be construed by the supporters of this current framework as an indication of how I might vote on the final bill. My vote is a vote to move forward, to continue the good and essential and important and imperative work that is underway.
"After a thorough review of the bill, as I said, over the last 2 1/2 days, which included many lengthy discussions, I have decided that there are enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward, but much more work needs to be done before I can support this effort.
"Over the past many years, and in particular the last 6 months, I have heard from people all across Louisiana that their insurance premium costs are simply too high and continue to rise without warning, threatening the financial stability of their families and their businesses. I have also heard the pleas and cries of many people who need health coverage but they cannot find it anywhere within reach of their budgets.
"Through months of public meetings in VFW halls, school gyms, and in hospitals and health clinics from New Orleans to Shreveport, and in large and small communities throughout my State, it is clear to me that doing nothing is not an option, nor is postponing the debate.
"Spirited debate and good-faith negotiations in this Senate have produced a bill that contains some amazing and cutting-edge reforms that will, I am hopeful, reduce costs for families and small businesses while reducing the debt burden of the Federal Government. But these reforms must be implemented properly and carefully, and they must be put in place in a timely fashion.
"Small business owners across the country have told me time after time that in order to grow their businesses and create jobs, they need affordable health insurance and they need stable and predictable costs. Yes, they would like their costs to be lowered, and I am going to stay focused like a laser on doing just that. But what they also need is predictability -- they need to be able to plan for the future, something they cannot do when the cost of healthcare spikes violently from year to year.
"As we all know, today, under the status quo, small business owners are frequently confronted with impossible choices when an employee or employee's family member gets seriously ill. They can expect exorbitant cost increases of up to 20% in their premiums when just one of their employees gets sick. Then they are confronted with the excruciating choice of going to that employee and those family members and saying: I am sorry, to save my business and the other 10 employees, we need to let you go. Here is $1,000 or $2,000 or $5,000. You are on your own. Good luck.
"That is a tragic story, painful, depressing, and it has to stop.
"I appreciate the hard work of many business owners and organizations that have helped to craft portions of this framework because they have remained at the negotiating table. They didn't run and hide, they remained at the table. I am asking them today to stay at this table.
"Before I discuss the work that needs to be done to improve this bill, I would like to discuss some of the points in this bill that encourage me to move forward.
"Small business owners, under the current framework of this bill, would no longer be confronted with these kinds of volatile costs. This bill prevents insurance companies from escalating their rates or dropping their coverage after someone gets sick. That important change goes a long way in stabilizing the amount small businesses will have to pay for their health plans, and it allows business owners to do what they do best -- plan smart investments, grow their businesses, and then help us grow our economy.
"In recent years, economists have found that workers' wages have remained largely stagnant. Why? Because employers are paying more and more for health care that we are indirectly subsidizing through the current Tax Code and so they have less and less money to pay real wages that workers in large and small businesses could actually take home, put in their pockets, and spend in much more productive ways. The bill we are debating would encourage employers to move away from high-cost benefit plans, and instead increase the amount that working families can take home. That is an important change from the status quo.
"In addition, this bill would ensure that the majority of Louisiana families would pay no more than 10 percent of their income for health care. That is still high. But today families in Louisiana pay an average of 30 percent of their income on healthcare costs. And economists project that if we do nothing, that total will climb to 60 percent of an average family's income that will have to be spent trying to afford health care. This bill changes that trajectory. So while some people still think that 10 percent or 12 percent may be too high, it is a lot better than 60 percent, which is the direction we are heading today if we do nothing. That is real progress.
"These reforms I have just mentioned are necessary and are too important a goal for the Senate to abandon its work. But, as I have said, there is a great deal more work that needs to be done.
"I would like to mention briefly just a few of the significant changes I would like to see be made to this bill.
"No. 1, in order to increase choices for small businesses, we must enhance and expand tax credits that are in this bill for small businesses, particularly for business with 25 or fewer employees. If we can expand tax credits for slightly larger small businesses with between 25 and 50 employees, that would be significant progress. Current projections are that 96 percent of all businesses that have more than 50 employees have coverage. That is a good statistic, and those larger businesses have some choices. But we need to give small businesses more choices. It is these small businesses that are leading the country on its way out of this recession. And we need to help them in that effort.
"In addition, I will continue to fight for more tax equity for the 27 million Americans who are currently self-employed. Every chairman of the Small Business Committee -- both Republican and Democrat, I understand, for the last 25 years -- has asked for this to be addressed. It is time to make progress on that effort now.
"No. 2, in order to really deliver our promise to hold down costs for families, we should think about focusing on ways to prevent premiums from being excessively raised between the time this bill is enacted, if it ever is, and the time it actually goes into effect. Many of the provisions in this bill, because of cost considerations, which I understand, do not go into effect until 2014. Well, today is 2009. That's a long time between now and then, and we need to make sure that companies do not jack up their premiums in anticipation of the market reforms this bill will make, as we have seen the credit card industry do in anticipation of the important reforms we made earlier in the year. Americans cannot afford to allow that kind of predatory behavior.
"Finally, I remain concerned that the current version of the public option included in this bill could shift significant risks to taxpayers over time unnecessarily, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to find a better and bipartisan solution for this issue. I have suggested that a freestanding, premium-supported, competitive community option that would trigger on a date certain, if our private market reforms fail to work, might be a possible compromise. That would include language that Senator Snowe and other of my colleagues have been working on for several months.
"Because I am hopeful we can make progress on each of these concerns and others through an amendment and debate process that is open and transparent, I believe that it is incumbent upon me to allow the bill to move to debate on the Senate floor.
"I stand ready to work together with my colleagues to fashion a principled and hopefully bipartisan compromise in the end to achieve what the people in my State need, and what many Americans need, and which we really have to do our best to try to give them.
"Finally, I know my time is up, but I would like to ask a personal privilege for just 1 more minute to address an issue that has come up, unfortunately, in the last 24 hours, driven by some very partisan Republican bloggers. So I think I need to respond and will do so now.
(my bold added) "One of the provisions in the framework of this bill has to do with fixing a very difficult situation that Louisiana is facing. For reasons that are simply beyond my comprehension, some partisans have decided to attack me for leading an effort to address a serious budget shortfall facing my state.
"The reason for this situation goes back to the disastrous hurricanes of 2005. I am not going to review the horrors of Katrina and Rita. The levees broke, and by the way, the courts have just ruled that the Corps of Engineers was, as I have said from the beginning, responsible. But I will comment more on that at another date.
"But, nonetheless, in 2005 Louisiana experienced two of the worst natural disasters in recent memory. In an effort to aid the recovery, Congress stepped in with a massive aid package for Louisianans -- thank you -- that infused grant dollars and direct assistance.
"Some of necessary one-time recovery dollars, in addition to the increased economic activity, were calculated into our State's per capita income. The result has been that Louisiana's per capita income was abnormally inflated. You can understand that. There were billions of dollars that came in from insurance and road, home, and community development block grants.
"In addition, labor and wage costs went up because there was a constriction in the market, which any economist can tell us always happens after a natural disaster. As a result, when we did the calculation under the law, it made us seem as if we were a state with a high per capita income like Connecticut and not a state with a low per capita income like Louisiana, almost as if we had become rich overnight. That was not the case. Our State is still as poor as it was, if not poorer as a consequence of those devastating storms. I am not going to be defensive about asking for help in this situation. It is not a $100 million fix, it is a nearly $300 million fix. It is the No. 1 request of my Governor who is a Republican. He explicitly asked that I pursue these funds. It is unanimously supported by every Member of our delegation, Democratic and Republican. I am proud to have asked for it. I am proud to have fought for it. I will continue to. But that is not the reason I am moving to debate.
"The reason I am moving to the debate, as I expressed in this statement, is that the cost of healthcare is bankrupting families and it is bankrupting our government. We cannot afford the status quo.
"I thank my colleagues for their graciousness. I know I have gone over my time, but I wanted to get that on the record. I support moving forward with the debate and look forward to working with them to improve it.
"I yield the floor."
A vote for cloture is a vote to proceed to an affirmative vote requiring only 51 votes - and she looks like she wants her rather large portion of pork contained therein.
The inability to experience shame is a wonder to behold.
I hope there will be jail for her in the future. Make her accountable for every penny of that money.