Landrieu Hops on the Fence for the Public Option
Following her statement late Friday indicating she’s open to a public option compromise, we’ve officially moved Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) from the “Likely Opponents” column to the “On the Fence” category in TWI’s Senate Public Option Scoreboard.
Landrieu had previously expressed strong opposition to a public option, telling the Monroe, La., News Star that there were “few, if any,” circumstances under which she’d back a government-run plan to compete with private insurers. She also refused to commit to opposing a GOP-led filibuster to prevent a bill with a public option from going to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote.
Now, however, she appears open to a compromise on the public option, which could take the form of a trigger or an opt-out solution that would allow states to withdraw from a national plan. “I conveyed to Leader Reid that a number of moderates still were extremely concerned about a government-run, taxpayer-funded, national public plan,” she said in a statement on Friday after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “However, I am encouraged that the conversations taking place over the past week among Senators who back different versions of a public option could potentially lead to a compromise. I believe this compromise should happen sooner, rather than later, so we can get to work on other critical aspects of heath care reform.”
Landrieu also now says she’s unlikely to support a filibuster against a health care bill.
With Landrieu “On the Fence,” there are no Democrats remaining in the “Likely Opponents” column in the Senate Public Option Scoreboard. Just one Republican — Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine — is “On the Fence,” and none are “Likely Supporters.” Overall, there are 47 probable yes votes for a public option, 38 likely no’s and 15 senators on the fence.
Catch all of the latest updates and a full rundown of senators’ stances on the public option at TWI’s Senate Public Option Scoreboard.