August 30th, 2009
02:10 PM ET
9 years ago

'I would tend not to' support the public option, says Landrieu

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A moderate Senate Democrat who is a possible swing vote in Republicans’ favor on health care reform said Sunday she is not likely to support a robust public health insurance option and believes that reform proposals should focus on lowering health care costs.

“I would tend not to,” Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union when asked whether she would support a public health insurance option included in health care reform bills passed by committees in the House of Representatives. “But, we’ve got to keep working to find solutions,” Landrieu added.

“There are some portions of our health care system that are working, but it’s all too expensive.”

The Democrat told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King she thinks costs could be contained without the inclusion of a public health insurance option. She said she supports an alternative proposal co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, that focuses on “providing insurance through the free marketplace with the right regulations and safeguards.”

Landrieu also told King “it would be very difficult” for her to support a health care reform bill that allowed taxpayer-funded abortions even though “general insurance policies now – subsidized through the government by the tax code – allow women to make those choices right now, again, within the confines of the Constitution.”

Because of her moderate to conservative views, Landrieu has become a target of some Senate Republicans hoping to win her vote on any health care reform bill presented to the full Senate later this year. On Friday, two Senate Republicans, who are also both medical doctors, paid a visit to Landrieu’s state to discuss health care reform.

Related: GOP Senate doctors go on health care road show

Filed under: Health care • Louisiana • Mary Landrieu • State of the Union
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Farrell in Houston

    Mary Landrieu is about as worthless as they come and should have been gone after Katrina along with the Governor who quit. Landrieu didn't do her job then and still isn't doing her job for the State of Louisiana.

    August 30, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. margaret brutto

    Why is the the media afraid to note that Orrin Hatch has no credibility?
    He has accepted the largest amount of contributions from the health care lobbyist's.

    August 30, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Did you know that......

    if you are a Vet being treated at a VA Hospital, you cannot get a colonoscopy because it is too expensive??

    This in spite of the fact that every doctor in the U.S. says you should have one upon reaching age 50.

    THIS IS the problem with gov't run healthcare and why you do not want ObamaCare.

    August 30, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    This person does not represent her constituents much. I guess we have always known that there are Dems who are getting paid just as there are Republicans who hold their positions due to corporate largesse.

    August 30, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Thank youu Senator Landrieu!! We must stop the madness going on in Washington. We can't afford to put anymore burdens on small business. I believe by adding burdens such as penalties for not providing health care, would only force them to have more cutbacks and layoffs. We need reform but not the kind they are talking about.

    August 30, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Cali Mike

    I wish the Southern states would secede again. They have been holding this country back for 200 years. There is no southern/republican/conservative health plan. NONE. Their whole plan is stopping any progress or change to the current system that makes them rich. And it disgusts me how they can watch people die and see profit in it with no guilt or shame

    August 30, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. dave

    I wish these that are oposed to change are asked if they have accepted money from the lobbist.

    August 30, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    I'll be the first to admit that we have to take care of our senior citizens and the desperately poor (Medicare/Medicaid), but other than that, HEALTHCARE IS NOT A RIGHT. It's a priveledge that is EARNED by being a skilled, productive member of society.

    Once the government takes over our healthcare system (which is the ultimate goal of the public option scheme), the rest of our economy will soon follow and, before you know it, America will be, AT BEST, a European-style socialist state where we pay 60% taxes and wait up to three years for a by-pass.

    August 30, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Bill Sampson

    Let's get rid of Ms. Landrieu's "public option" healthcare, the best in the country heavily subsidized by the U.S. taxpayers. Louisiana is one of the poorest states in the nation and its citizens would benefit tremendously from a public option, or even better, Universal Coverage. So what is her problem? Hmm.

    Throughout her congressional career, Landrieu has raised $1,668,693 from health insurance and health care interests - broken down by "health professionals" ($607,616), "Insurance" $401,731, "Hospitals/Nursing Homes" $269,645, "Pharmaceuticals/Health Products" $224,696 and "Health Services/HMOs" ($165,005). HuffPost blogger Sahil Kapur helped gather the campaign figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Apparently she is bought and paid for like a county fair prize winning hog! That is the problem. Get rid of her, Louisiana.

    August 30, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. PAUL W.

    Yep, Landrieu would rather see the Insurance industry continue to rape the American people and more and more American fall into the rolls of the uninsured. We are being hoodwinked by these servants to big insurance that we have sent to Washington to look out for our best interests.

    August 30, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Fan of Common Sense

    Another democrat comes to her senses.....or maybe she just wants to get re-elected. 😉

    One of the main reasons healthcare is so expensive in this country is because of the outlandish amount of insurance that healthcare providers have to purchase in order to protect them from frivulous lawsuits. So if the democrats really want lower the cost of healthcare in this country, why is it you never hear them say the words TORT REFORM?

    (I already know the answer. It's because the ambulance-chasing trial lawyers are one of the DNC's biggest contributors.)

    August 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Chris Gee

    "Tend not to?" Now that's what I call taking a stand. It's a "Yes/No" question senator. Have the guts to chose a side. The health care companies don't want a "Public Option" because they don't want competition. I bet 40 million un-insured Americans are for it.

    Which side are you on Senator? Inquiring minds want to know!

    August 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. gl, Pittsburgh

    Please get rid of this some call blue dog and give their seats to Repubicans so the American people are not fooled by these lying Blue dogs that are really Repubicans.

    August 30, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Turnabout is Fair Play

    And you call yourself a democrat, you are a disgusting oxymoron to the name Democrat, you are nothing more than a DINO. Democrat In Name Only. Give up your cushy health insurance paid for by us and let's see how you feel then, stupid woman.

    August 30, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. A. Alexander

    Why is it that when i see all the angry townhall meetings and all the gun toteing people when the president is in town all i see are white people?Is it because people of color are the ones with no coverage and the protesters have the thought of i got mine i dont care about anybody else?It also seems to me that they still just hate that a black man is president.Where were these people when bush ran us in the ground?

    August 30, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. joe mett

    I hope this senator is defeated by a republican though I care less about the political ideology of the republicans. She is talking like a republican and it is about time she lost to a republican. It is indeed the irony of jokes that Landrieu is talking like most people in Louisiana are wealthy like her family dynasty.

    Louisiana's Landrieu's family and Bob Jindal cannot even rebuild New Orleans without federal money. Now they are shouting over the rooftop as if they can provide sustainable heallth care and insurance without federal help. This is just a political joke and the voters must rise up and throw out these corporate lobbyists stooges out of public office!!!

    Whether they like it or not Louisiana is at the bottom of any social economic statistics of states in the union yet still we continue to hear these political pretentiousness from elected officials from Louisiana.

    August 30, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Post always rejected by CNN

    CHECK CHECK HER FINANCES....see how money she got from health and drug lobbyists. There is absolutely no reason, other than the fact that these congress people are being pressured by heath and drug companies, that they would not support a public option.

    What in Hades would be the reason to have health care if you could not shop for the best price. If your feet were held to the fire by health companies that raise the cost of your preminums sometimes as much as 50% a year....

    She has to be in their pocket. Why would the good people of LA vote for this unmentionable.

    Scared to post this...heck yes.

    August 30, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. ex-republican

    And, if I were living in your district, you would not get my vote!
    I would make sure that many of my friends, neighbors,co-workers,etc. vote you out!

    August 30, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. GP

    Just what goods and services do private insurance companies provide that a universal system can not?

    Isn't a risk pool of 300 million far less expensive than the conglomeration of private risk pools we currently have?

    The prolife movement aggresively engages in domestic terrorism. How many doctors have they assasinated and terrorized? These people can not be reasoned with. They would rather protect the embryo than the infant or the infants mother.

    They have obviously gotten to the senator. One can only imagine the coded message to her. Violence is justifieable to these domestic terrorists.

    August 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. M. Ames, Syracuse

    From the Constitution of the United States of America:
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Article 1, Sec. 8, Clause 18: "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

    As the old commercial goes….."It's in there!"

    August 30, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. tim b

    I am for now hoping that there is nothing done on health care, and I mean nothing at all. As I see it right now the best we can hope for is a weak public option and a mandate, That means billions in profits for insurance companies and nothing else. In a few more years the cost will push millions more into the under\uninsured roles and we will be even weaker financially making it vastly more difficult to fix. If we do nothing the only thing that will change will be the gross profits by already bulding insurance companies and when 50% of the people find they have no healthy care then maybe we will go to single payer and take the profit out of what is supposed to be an act of mercy. Maybe just maybe we can find a way to find Doctors that want to heal not just treat.

    August 30, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. katiec

    Landrieu is totally in the pockets of the health care entities.
    We can expect nothing more from her.

    August 30, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Megan

    I really don't get the marketplace argument. Our health is not a commodity and thus should not be on the market. Why should the private insurance companies be the ones to determine whether to treat us or not, when their goal as a private company, as determined in Dodge v. Ford, is to maximize profit. Average people, grow some brains. The private companies don't care about you, but their pockets. They are the very ones who will deny you when you get cancer or need heart surgery. Trust me, England and Canada will vote all their politicians out if they ever threatened to take away their health care. And as I have learned from my friends on those countries, they think we are beyond stupid in this country to not want a public option.

    August 30, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Check out her campaign contributions from Insurance, Pharmaceuticals, and some lawyers and doctors.

    Shame on her. Not standing up for the poor, but for the wealthy.

    August 30, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Peggy Lucas

    I think it's time for Mary Landrieu to understand what the American people want – they want health care. Health care as good as what she has and what her family has. If she wants to think and act like a Republican, why not join the Republicans and give back her seat to a Democrat who will work for the people. Even on Senator Kennedy's death bed, his thoughts were on health care for all not for a chosen few.

    August 30, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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