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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Democratic Senator, Landrieu, Likely To Oppose Government Insurance Plan

The News Star:

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu told a relatively friendly overflow Monroe Chamber of Commerce crowd that she would likely oppose any government insurance option in health care reform and lobby against a proposed energy tax known as Cap and Trade.

Landrieu, D-La., who spoke during a chamber luncheon today, also met with local doctors earlier and briefly addressed about 15 demonstrators opposing a public insurance option and Cap and Trade.

When asked after her speech if the senator would support a public option under any circumstances, she said, “Very few, if any. I’d prefer a private market-based approach to any health care reform that would extend coverage.”

“I’d like to cover everyone — that would be the moral thing to do — but it would be immoral to bankrupt the country while doing so,” Landrieu said.

Pelosi's House of Representatives have enough Democratic votes to jam through any bill they want, but the Senate, to bypass a filibuster, needs 60 votes for any plan they propose, and although Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, did have his 60 filibuster proof Democrats, the passing of Ted Kennedy put him back to 59 and blue dogs, moderate Democrats, are hesitant to overrule the will of their constituents who have been turning out in droves to show opposition to the public option as well as the trillion dollar cost of Obamacare.

If Mary Landrieu, known as a conservative Democrat, is true to her words here, this is one less vote Harry Reid can count on.

TPM also reports Landrieu's previous stance on the idea that Democrats should stick together against filibuster, as a procedural matter.

Landrieu has also balked at the idea that she and other Democrats should be expected to oppose filibusters as a procedural matter. "I'm going to keep an open mind, but I am not committing to any procedural straitjackets one way or another," she said in July.

Looks like after this little August vacation for Congress, the Democratic leadership is going to have their hands full and it is doubtful they are going to be able to shove the public option down all of our throats.

Landrieu is not the only conservative or moderate Democrat that balked at Reid's "procedural matter", according to Roll Call back in July when Reid tried to push the idea:

Senate Democratic leaders have stepped up the pressure on their rank and file to unify on procedural votes after finally gaining a filibuster-proof majority, but centrists who have long been headaches for the leadership are so far refusing to commit to the strategy.

“Most Senators vote their conscience and they do what they think is right. They didn’t come here to be told what to do by somebody else,” moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) said.