November 18th, 2009
04:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Landrieu, Nelson sound positive note after Reid meeting

Washington (CNN) – Coming out of their Wednesday meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana both had positive comments that suggested they were more ready to vote for a motion that would allow debate to begin on the Democrats' health care plan than they had been prior to this afternoon's sitdown.

Landrieu and Nelson, along with fellow moderate Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, met with Reid in his office.

"Sen. Reid gave me some assurances that some of my concerns will be dealt with," said Landrieu, who stressed she would not make a decision on whether to vote for the motion to proceed until the text of the bill was released, and she had a chance to review some of the provisions again.

"I’ve been very clear. There are two or three issues," she told CNN. "One, does this bill actually drive down costs to individuals, to businesses and to the government. Number two, is there a quote, public option that will undermine the private insurance market - and if there is, it needs to come out at some point. It needs to come out at some point.

"And then thirdly, have we done the very best we can to help small businesses afford this health insurance. So he gave me some assurances along those lines that he’s working hard towards those goals, but until I see the bill I can’t give you a definite.”

Nelson also told CNN he was withholding his final decision on the motion to proceed until he had a chance to "study (the bill) or at least review it to begin with."

"But there were concerns raised about making sure the bill is (public) for some time, and what is the process there," he added. "Would the bill be read on the floor. Those kinds of questions."

Did Reid manage to satisfy his concerns on that issue? "At this point in time, it sort of seems like it. So I think we’ll know more after…. we weren’t seeking commitments so much as we were expressing our concerns and our interests, and I think we’ll know more after the 5 pm caucus."

Nelson also said the meeting did not include discussion of any of the specifics regarding abortion language, the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry, and other issues of concern to him.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Blanche Lincoln • Harry Reid • Health care • Mary Landrieu
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. JES

    Spend all of our money so China can own us.

    Can any of you even tell me how much 860 billion is I can't even comprehend 1 billion much less 860.

    This is for how many people in the US.

    Someone needs to put a stop to all of the out of control spendind that's going on since Obama took office.

    It's easy to spend someone else’s money try spending your own money to fund this stupid project.

    November 18, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. X

    "undermine the private insurance market"? ...Is health care reform about providing affordable health care to all Americans or about protecting insurance company's profits? If private health insurance is so great, we wouldn't even be having this discussion now.

    November 18, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Rush,the carnival barker

    These two are toast if there is no Public Option,Period.

    November 18, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. daman74

    Hey Sen. Landrieu:

    Public Option means more competition to drive down costs. I am a Small Business. I am an independant contractor who makes $35,000.00 plus I pay all of my own payrole taxes. Vacation time, sick time...forget about it. Thank God I am healthy because I can not afford insurance. If I could afford insurance, I could not afford to take hours off of work to fight the insurance company when my coverage is denied (yes I have been down that road before). Regular "Vanilla" coverage has to be divorced from end of life care. That is the only way to make insurance affordable for people like me. Make it two different policies. Ahhh....what's the point, not a single one of you nutsacks cares about the lower middle class. If my mama did not raise me better, I would just get SSI and lay on my ass and collect checks and free health care, free rent, free food, etc. Instead, I am paying the way for AIG and welfare bubba.

    November 18, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    "I said to myself very early on, even when I started running for office, I don't want to be making decisions based on getting reelected, because I think the challenges that America faces right now are so significant," the president also said. "Obviously, if I make those decisions and I think that I'm moving the country on the right direction economically, in terms of our security interests, our foreign policy, I'd like to think that those policies are continued because they're not going to bear fruit just in four years."
    This a quote from President Obama in a recent interview just today, I just have to say this one sentence in response back to him. President Obama, if you care about the American people that you would sacrifice your political future to do the right thing for America, then you will come out smelling like roses in the long run. "Sometimes what is right is not popular, and sometimes what is popular is not right."

    November 18, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Darko

    Do you really believe what Reid says? Hasn't he given everyone reason enough to distrust his loyalties?

    November 18, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. NC

    The senator from Louisiana does not mind if we spend billions in her state. Heaven help us if we want to spend money for other states.

    November 18, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Proud Member..Party of No

    Hang on everybody, just one more year to go:

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 26% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. That matches the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.

    November 18, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    This isn't about healthcare, it's about control of 17% of the economy. That added to the 30% the government already controls in Banks, Automobile companies, Insurance companies, is beyond scary. Stop this insanity. We can't afford it.

    November 18, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. DJ

    Grow a backbone and quit being such sell-outs to America and your party Landrieu and Nelson.

    November 18, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jerzey

    Thes Blue Dogs know they are dead meat if they try to appease the insurance companies and the right wing nuts!

    November 18, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Hugo

    It is now official, Middle class educated thinking America (had to put in the disclaimer) no longer has any faith in our recent past, present or foreseeable future Government leadership.

    November 18, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. ttbala

    All you Republicans that are leaving messages spend all out Money so thar China can own us, all these nonsense the president not being popular or the government owns this many percents in the companies, why don't you people go and educate yourselves, first of all all of you who are ctitisizing the President turn around and start critisizing Bush for getting you to this point, second there is a difference between BAIL OUT and SOCIALISM, like I said get yourselves educated, if it wasn't for these bail outs, 74% of this country will be unemployed by now and that is CURTESY OF MR BUSH/CHENEY NOT OBAMA

    November 18, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. tarheel

    What people need to remember is that these so-called moderates are still Democrats. In the end they'll be on board with the rest of the Dims. BTW, If the Dims can save 150 billion by spending 850 billion, why not save even more and spend two trillion. Why not just have FREE health care for all. Don't we deserve it. There's no need for anyone to have to needlessly die because of lack of Health Insurance. Don't give me that old tired Republican excuse of how we can't afford free health care for everybody because Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have already proved that the more we spend, the more we save :-) You do believe them, don't you?

    November 18, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Marko

    No public option means no reform, which means status quo for most of us, which means we will continue to to be screwed over. Thank you very much oh elected one by the people. Remember us?

    November 18, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Okey Anozie

    Rasmussen also says 51% of Americans support Sarah Palin.. Great Source.Please Party of No, get a life!

    November 18, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Albo58

    Reid is a proven liar so why would anyone actually trust him to do anything he says?

    November 18, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. AJ, Louisiana

    Good Job, Senator Landrieu.

    I'm proud to see that same skepticism that you always show towards certain bills. You constantly work and check, and recheck bills to make sure that they are in the best interest of America and the state of Louisiana.

    We need this bill to pass, Mrs. Landrieu. Sure, it may upset the corporate lobby in washington but for every day Americans, those who aren't paid hundreds of thousands to lobby, we need a public option. Even if it simply acts as an affordable option for those of us in the middle class.

    I thank you for your work on behalf of Louisiana.

    November 18, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    I guess no Democrats in the Senate seems to care that this bill costs at least $850 billion, that it does not create jobs and that it does not lower the cost of health care. They must be working with a different set of priorities in Washington DC... at least the Democrats.

    November 18, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Thomas Veil

    With the public option now bargained down to almost nothing in the House, Landrieu is still worried about it in the Senate? She, Nelson and other "moderates" are compromising this bill into ineffectuality. We'll be very, very lucky if we DON'T end up with a bill that's simply a windfall for the insurance companies, and does little to control costs. Thanks a lot, moderate Dems!

    In the run-up to the 2010 election, the DNC really needs to start grooming some true liberal candidates, and informing the public of how much it CAN'T get done because of those undercover conservatives, the Blue Dog Dems.

    November 18, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Danny

    I have primary insurance through my employer and also secondary insurance through my wife's employer and normally do the cordination of benefits so that both companies would pay their share for services provided. Even with two insurance the problem we have to go through to get claims paid is horendous. I feel sorry for people who have no coverage because medical bills are so expensive. I have lived in 3 countries and U.S.A has the worst healthcare system. In addition, the Americans who are saying that they don't want the government responsible for their healthcare are just dumb. The current system make us to be slaves to our jobs that you can lose at anytime. Also, get oe illness and you will lose all that you have worked for all your life, and who will be responsible for your healthcare, the government. I have two insurance coverage and I would prefer if I had one through the government. I trust the government more than any company that I work for when it comes to my well being. Lose your job and lets see what you think about the public option, I hope those against it will lose thir job at sometime.

    November 18, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    They had darn well listen – if this doesn't get their vote, they won't get outs. That's a promise.

    How will they feel unemployed with no health=care provided by us?

    November 18, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Why do so many republicans protect the insurance company's profits?

    November 18, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Pragmatic

    Just had a upper/lower GI – cost = $5,500 (which doesn't include the doctor's fee) Where would I be if I 1. Lost my job 2. Insurance company drops me for being too expensive. Americans are facing both of these challenges... not insured or not rich? ... health care doesn't happen?

    Stop this insanity .... I can't afford it!

    November 18, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. DAVE

    the preliminary cost by the CBO is just under $900 Billion over ten years but only after we pay 3 years and only recieve 7 or less of actual care, but the problem with this being deficit neutral is that they have not included the $ 250 Billion in doctors fees that are owed..... this will not make it deficit neutral....everyone knows that the numbers in this are bogus and that it is just a power grab by the govt. over it's citizens.... if those on the left believe that rationing of care is not a main focus to supposedly drop costs you are nuts... just look at the new announcement about mammograms??? just the tip of the iceberg if this passes.... they will buy off democrats who oppose the public option and it will be forced down our throats..... independent polls show that only 35% of Americans want this health care proposal so why is it that Hillary care had an approval of 36% and it was shot down quickly yet this bill with less support will not go away to start an new health care proposal???? we are doomed.... come 2010 and 2012 i will be voting all who represent in California out of office Democrat or Republican..... time to start over and end the career politicians for good....

    November 18, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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