The gift that keeps on giving for electoral opponents of Louisiana’s Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu also seems to have an interesting anatomical effect: it’s causing her nose to grow longer and longer as she resorts to distraction and outright lying to prevent being known as an ignoramus or two-faced, perhaps both, to the continued deterioration of her reelection effort.
As the internal contradictions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) become increasing public and part of the public consciousness, its shortcomings have put Landrieu, who provided the crucial vote for its passage, into full defensive mode. Most damaging to her is the provision in it that is stripping apparently as many as 16 million current health insurance policyholders of their coverage, forcing many into far more expensive policies if they can afford them at all. Even though this has been part of the program’s rules for years since its passage, only now has she apparently become concerned enough to want to sponsor legislation that would prevent this.
Naturally, this incident highlights one of these contradictions – the law and its accompanying regulations are designed to force people out policies that don’t meet the new imposed minimums for scope of coverage, making many people to pay for services they don’t want any may not even be able to use or afford or be fined, which serves to decrease the number of those covered. This was chosen by Democrats like Landrieu not to try to extend coverage to as many people as possible, but to force them to pay more for coverage in order to expand money coming into the system to attempt to jigger lower rates for some others; in other words, wealth redistribution. At the same time, over the long run it is hoped to force enough people out of the system so as to raise pressure for installation of a single-payer, universal health care system, in that the payers of fines will want that to become an insurance payment rather than for nothing and those paying high rates can be convinced this is caused not by government regulation, but by evil insurance companies exploiting the faulty free market.
It also makes Landrieu look like an idiot in the short run for having continued to give full-throated support to Obamacare, especially in that she has preached constantly the knowing lie told by Pres. Barack Obama that goes along the lines of “you can keep your health insurance if you like it.” Caught out, Landrieu now has taken to saying “We said when we passed that, ‘If you had insurance that was good insurance that you wanted to keep it, you could keep it’” to try to deflect from the brewing controversy and anger it has provoked among the electorate.
Except that Landrieu lies; she never said anything close to that for public consumption. As ably noted here, in the past she has said “While those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan. This is a very accurate description of this bill before us.” So now she’s changing her tune when it becomes politically inconvenient to parrot the prior party line; not exactly a study in honesty, is she?
And where she is not fibbing, she is covering up. After she expressed the intention of sponsoring the bill to prevent coverage loss from Obamacare, media reports exposed her as voting previously against a measure that would have done precisely what she says she’ll support now – which leads one to conclude that she’s known all along this would happen and back then, when it was uncontroversial and off the political radar, preferred to show her constituents her index, middle, and ring fingers and told them to read between the lines, while now she’s suddenly backtracking on that to pose as an all-concerned, all-caring avatar.
Scrambling to try to explain that away, her latest verbal contortion is that any measure she would support now would be adding a requirement, not included in the resolution she voted against, that insurance companies inform consumers if and how their plans fall short of Affordable Care Act requirements. So, let’s get this straight: Landrieu is on the record not supporting letting people keep coverage they like if along with that there’s no information comparing policies, but add that bureaucratic procedure, and then she is. Therefore, it seems that the sticking point to her is not that people should keep coverage they like, but instead is merely over reporting requirements.
Which gives her opponents excellent opportunities to keep the minefield she has wandered into on this active and blowing up her campaign. But even the state’s left-leaning mainstream media has found the story too big to ignore, and that alone may begin to erode her position without any concerted effort by the opposition, particularly Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, to unmask her to the voting public.
(Not that all fellow-travelers will do the same. Public Policy Polling, which works on behalf of Democrats and liberal candidates, is polling this election in the state now, which it did last month concentrating on attitudes concerning the partial government shutdown. One might think the logical issue set it asks about this month would be Obamacare implementation; one would be wrong. Instead, it’s asking about environmental regulation and coal-firing plants, which is a good way to avoid publicizing rollout problems and having to comment on data tying a decline in support of Landrieu to these caused by the internal contradictions of the law.)
Thus the Landrieu ship continues to take on water, one always kept afloat miraculously by its ability to prevent enough of the public from seeing who Landrieu truly is. But events are beginning to overwhelm its strategies of mendacity and distraction used to keep that curtain closed.