“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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Four senators pushed for a bill Wednesday to ban texting while driving, a day after a study found that drivers who text while on the road are much more likely to have an accident than an undistracted driver.
Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-New York; Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey; Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana; and Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina, unveiled the ALERT Act, which would ban truck and car drivers and operators of mass transit from texting while driving.
The proposed legislation would prohibit any driver from sending text or e-mail messages while driving a vehicle, said an earlier news release from the senators. If the bill passes, the Department of Transportation would set the minimum standards for compliance.
States that do not enact text-banning laws within two years of the bill's passage could lose 25 percent of their federal highway funds, Schumer said in a news conference announcing the legislation. The non-compliant states could recuperate that money once they meet the text-banning standards, Schumer added.
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia already have laws barring texting while driving, which include the home states of three of the bill's sponsors: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Six key senators – three Democrats, one independent and two moderate Republicans – sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for a slowdown in the push for a health care overhaul, in light of the Congressional Budget Office's assessment that the Democratic plan currently being considered would not cut medical costs
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"We believe taking additional time to achieve a bipartisan result is critical for legislation that affects 17 percent of our economy and every individual in the U.S.," read the letter, signed by Democrats Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Ron Wyden. independent Joe Lieberman and Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, who also said they were "firmly committed to enactment of comprehensive reform this year."
The letter echoes concerns raised by many conservative Democrats on the House side.
Full text of the letter after the jump.
(CNN) – Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing new pressure from liberal groups pushing for a public health insurance option.
A coalition that includes MoveOn.org, Democracy for America and Change Congress released a 60-second television ad Wednesday highlighting contributions from insurance companies and other industry interests to the Louisiana Democrat.
"For me, this issue's personal," says breast cancer survivor Karen Gadbois in the ad, which is slated to run in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans media markets for the next week. "So when I see Mary Landrieu take $1.6 million from health and insurance companies, I have to ask: Whose side are you on?"
(CNN) - MoveOn.org is targeting a Democratic senator Friday over her apparent opposition to the health care proposal President Obama has proposed.
In a radio ad airing in the New Orleans market, the liberal political action committee criticizes Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu for expressing opposition to legislation that would provide Americans with a choice of public health care.
"Why is Mary Landrieu opposing the president's plan to provide health care choices for all Americans, including the option to join a high quality public health insurance plan?" the ad's narrator says, noting the senator has received "$1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health care industry - the same industry that's now spending millions to stop the president's plan."
After initially signaling she would be in favor of a public option last year, Landrieu told reporters last week she was against any health care reform package that offered such a policy.
"I'm not open to a public option," she said. "However, I will remain open to a compromise, a full compromise. [A] public option is not something that I support. I don't think it's the right way to go."