Posts tagged ‘Mary Landrieu’

Legislators Pressuring Insurance Companies to Extend The Policies That Legislators Forced to Be Cancelled

Just to prove that there is no end to the arrogance and moral bankruptcy of politicians:

Federal lawmakers and state officials are stepping up pressure on insurers to allow consumers whose coverage has been canceled in response to the health overhaul to keep their policies beyond the end of the year.

On Tuesday, one of the largest regional health plans in the nation, Blue Shield of California, said it would relax its stance on terminated policies for about 115,000 people after state regulators demanded it do so. Customers now will have until March to decide which plan to choose for 2014, a three-month extension. Because the newer plans generally cost more, the extension could save residents as much as $28.6 million on premiums, said Dave Jones, California's insurance commissioner....

The move by Mr. Jones, an elected Democrat, comes as some other Democrats are seeking ways to allow individual policyholders to keep their current health plans and to defuse the issue of canceled plans, which has become a headache for supporters of the law.

Cancellation letters are expected to be sent to as many as 10 million Americans who buy coverage directly from insurers, rather than through an employer or government program. While these individuals would have to buy new policies, regulators and lawmakers say the extensions would give them more time to shop for an affordable new plan—particularly because continuing problems with insurance exchange websites are preventing many of these consumers from finding new coverage.

This is incredible.  Senator Mary Landrieu, for example, has now introduced a bill that would reverse some of the rules that are forcing insurers to cancel policies, essentially the same bill she voted against 3-1/2 years ago.

The Marginal Vote Will Be Even More Expensive

Coyote Blog, July 16, 2009

It is totally clear to me that Obama and Pelosi will spend any amount of money to pass their key legislative initiatives.  In the case of Waxman-Markey, the marginal price per vote turned out to be about $3.5 billion.  But they didn't even blink at paying this.  That is why I fear that some horrible form of health care "reform" may actually pass.  If it does, the marginal cost per vote may be higher, but I don't think our leaders care.

WSJ, Nov 19, 2009

What does it take to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform?

Here's a case study.

On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for "certain states recovering from a major disaster."

The section spends two pages defining which "states" would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that "during the preceding 7 fiscal years" have been declared a "major disaster area."

I am told the section applies to exactly one state:  Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world:  Louisiana.  (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana's Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost?  According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.

Double Secret Probation

Why even bother to filibuster when you can put legislation on secret hold.  While this story is highly ironic, I suppose the Senator involved has to at least be credited with consistency in his/her opposition to transparency for putting a "secret hold" on a bill to increase the public's visibility of the earmark process:

Yet most Senators clearly have no desire to shine a light on their
spending practices, and at least one -- perhaps more -- has placed a
"secret" hold on the legislation. Normally the architects of these
holds are exposed within a few legislative days, but with Congress on
recess the masked spender has so far evaded capture and public scrutiny.

Porkbusters, a grassroots outfit that fights government waste, found
this untransparent move to stymie government transparency a bit rich,
and last week launched a campaign to unveil the blocker's identity. It
has asked its members to call on their Senators to disavow the hold,
and the responses are trickling in. The group, which is tracking the
results on its Web site (www.porkbusters.org), still has the pictures
of 91 Senators under its "Suspect" list. The nine Senators who have
denied placing the hold are now listed as "In the Clear"; they are
Senator Coburn, Barack Obama, Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, John McCain,
Ron Wyden, Richard Shelby, Jim Inhofe and Jeff Sessions.

If Congress insists on spending like there's no tomorrow, at least
the Members could let the voters see what they're spending it on by
passing Senator Coburn's reform. Will the real secret Senator please
stand up?