Thursday, August 27, 2009

Landrieu Leans "No" As Long As There's a Public Option

Senator Mary Landrieu was in Alexandra, Louisiana yesterday where she talked about ObamaCare. Via The Town Talk, "Landrieu said she does not support a 'public option' plan for national health insurance reform and would not vote for a House plan as it now exists." Write that one down because you may want to recall it later, after the vote.

When asked if she would vote for the plan, Landrieu said, "No, I don't generally support a public-option plan, but we've got to get the costs down." Generally. There's her loophole. If Landrieu doesn't vote for this bill, mark me down as shocked. She could surprise me, but I won't be holding my breath.

On Cap and Trade, yeah, maybe I can see her not voting FOR that one because of the high cost it will incur for Louisiana, an oil state. But ObamaCare - nah. She'll go.

According to The Town Talk, Landrieu said, "'As you know, the Senate is working on its own bill. Insurance reform is a big part and some tort reform is being considered'...She pointed out Louisiana has a cap on the amount of money that can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit if the plaintiff wins against a physician, suggesting that could be an approach."

I agree with her on that point; Tort reform is a MUST when talking about lowering the cost of medical care.

Landrieu voted with Obama over 80% of the time while he was still in the Senate. She was a huge supporter of No Child Left Behind, and was given a 77% rating by the AFL-CIO on her voting record on labor issues. One profile of Landrieu refers to her as a "centrist" Democrat, though many in Louisiana might think her more liberal than that.

At any rate, in Louisiana, Cao is still undecided, as reported yesterday, with the abortion funding being a deal-breaker for him. Landrieu is currently leaning no, as long as there is a public option. From here, part of the Louisiana contingent still looks non-committal on ObamaCare. Of course, Senator Vitter and Rep. Fleming are still definitely opposed.

Melt the phones, folks!


G.R. said...

I'm with you, I won't hold my breath. Landrieu has no backbone and will say whatever she thinks her audience wants to hear. You can surely bet had it been a ObamaCare pro crowd she would have been touting it as a must for this country.
You just can't trust Katrina Mary.

Red said...

She looks fatter. And if by centrist she means not quite a Marxist then yeah I'd say she's a centrist *snark*. We need her out of office. She is the 'Kennedy' of Louisiana.

Red said...

I also agree with G.R. She said what the crowd wanted to hear so that her town hall wouldn't make the news as yet another "rowdy gathering of Nazis and right-wing extremists".

Huey said...

Why the constant refrain of "tort reform" in regards to medical malpractice ('cause that's the tort which would be "reformed"). It's the Republican equivalent of the Democrats' refrain of "47 million uninsured." Both are equally valid.

As you live in Louisiana, you must be aware that Louisiana already has (like most states) enacted "tort reform" regarding medical malpractice.

This wonderful device has made it so that doctors are granted more protection against their negligence and/or incompetence than any other class of persons.

If you get injured by a doctor negligently driving a car, you are entitled to be compensated to the full extent of your injuries. (If you're killed, then, your heirs...)

If you get injured by a doctor negligently wielding a scalpel, you have to wade through extraordinary barriers before you even GET to the point of a judgment, and, there, you have your compensation limited by operation of law.

That really doesn't sound like a "conservative" principle to me -- preventing those who are injured to full redress for those injuries -- through governmental regulation.

Personally, I don't think there's any MORAL distinction between getting killed by a negligent/incompetent DRIVER and a negligent/incompetent DOCTOR. There being no moral distinction, I don't think there should be any LEGAL distinction.

And...just food for thought...

The cost of medical malpractice complaint (including all judgments, costs, attorney fees -- everything) is approximately 1% of the total cost of health care. So, if you eliminate EVERY claim of EVERY person who is injured through the negligence/incompetence of a doctor, you will have succeeded in eliminating a penny on the dollar of health care costs and prevented thousands of people from receiving adequate compensation for their injuries.

Yea! That's a good, moral way to go.

Huey said...

Oh...some other food for thought...

The total cost of medical malpractice insurance is approximately 4% of a doctor's/hospital's overhead.

The reason it costs more for a doctor to get insurance for his professional errors is that the RISK which the insurance covers for a doctor is significantly higher than the RISK the insurance company covers accountant. When doctors screw up, sometimes people die or are maimed for life. When an accountant screws up, it is generally able to be corrected and the damage done is, comparatively, small. (It's the same reason why a trucker who hauls propane pays more for his insurance than does one who hauls furniture...)

Some more...

Medical Malpractice kills between 100k and 200k per year depending on whether you believe the AMA or those they hire to conduct the studies (or the independent studies).

The cost of a reduction in medical malpractice claims COULD result in a reduction in the cost of health care or the cost of medical malpractice insurance, but it doesn't. The doctors pocket the reduced premiums when they receive them and the insurance companies don't reduce (or reduce enough) the premiums -- pocketing the profit.

And..."defensive medicine." The notion that doctors are performing "unnecessary tests" so to prevent being sued.. Well, a test is only "unnecessary" in hindsight. And, the REASON the doctor gave the test (when it's performed "defensively") is because he has been warned about the potential consequences for not doing so -- consequences which have become apparent and taught in seminars because other doctors have been sued for not giving the tests AND LOST.

And, yet, there's more...

I was listening to Sean today. He had a caller who confronted him about his repetitive "tort reform" meme. "Of course I want people to be compensated when they're injured!" Sean said (or to that effect). Then...of course...the mantra: "But there has to be a stop to these FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS! And, those OUTRAGEOUS JUDGMENTS!"


We already have in place the law and the mechanism to protect against those.

It's called "JUDGES."

As the "gatekeepers of justice" Judges have the power and the DUTY to screen out and dismiss any lawsuit which has no legal basis. (If it HAS "legal basis" it AIN'T FRIVOLOUS.) Further, the Judge can SANCTION both the Plaintiff(s) and attorney(s) who filed such a claim.

But, they don't do so. Why? Because they're ELECTED. They would rather leave such questions to the jury so not to affect their re-election chances.

Being from Shreveport, one would think that you have an idea of the quality of our elected Judges...

And, the "excessive judgments..." Every "excessive judgment" is reviewed by the Appellate courts who have the power and DUTY to reduce such excessive judgments so to comport with law and reason.

And, they regularly exercise that power. (Everyone remembers the McDonald's "coffee in the old lady's lap" multi-million dollar judgment, but hardly anyone knows that the amount of the judgment was significantly reduced the 2.7 million judgment to $460,000. (She had $160,000 in MEDICAL bills.))


I would post some useful links, but they're just so dang easy to find that I'm just not going to do so....