Hold Outs

angle by Lee Stranahan

Nearly everyone is talking about the four Democrats threatening to filibuster the health care bill – Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson – is using the algebra of how the voters will react. For example, TPM says of Landrieu…

Her constituency is very broad, she’s mindful of the warnings of industry, she has leverage, and she’s using it. But…she was just re-elected. It’s almost inconceivable that her vote on health care in late 2009/early 2010 will matter very much when she’s up for re-election in 2014. Strictly on political terms, she should be a company Democrat right now, though it’s unclear if the political consideration is all that’s driving her decision-making on the issue.

Hmm. Yeah. Quite a mystery. Why WOULD that Mary Landrieu ever want to stop the Public Option? I wonder what could POSSIBLY be driving her decision making on the issue. I wonder….could it be….SATAN?

Well, close. It’s lobbyist money. Duh.

As FDL points out…

  • According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Landrieu has raised $1,668,693 from health care and insurance interests throughout her federal political career.
  • Of the $1,668,693 in health care and insurance money Sen. Landrieu has raised, just 36% came from in state donors, with 64% coming from out of state interests.

This health care bill is a bonanza for the insurance industry. They are fine with it passing…as long as there’s no Public Option. If a Public Option is created, they know it’s a toehold towards Single Payer. Not much of one but WITHOUT the Public Option, this bill is a straight giveaway with very few downsides. The Opt-Out and Trigger water it down enough where it MAY be safe for them but this is the Insurance Industry we’re dealing with. They hate risk.

Given all that pressure, I’m not sure what will sway more than a couple of the holdouts.


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