Landrieu Open to Public Option with Trigger

Sep 13, 2009 4:21pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu is an outspoken opponent of creating a government insurance option as part of comprehensive health-care reform. The Louisiana Democrat worries that a public plan would undermine the private system which insures most Americans.

Landrieu signaled Sunday, however, while appearing on ABC's "This Week," that she is open to a government plan if it is created as a "fallback" to a newly regulated system of private insurance.

"I can support potentially a fallback, but only if the private sector is allowed and given a great opportunity to get this right," said Landrieu when asked about the public option with a trigger proposal. "I believe they can."

Landrieu belongs to the Moderate Dems Working Group. The group, which consists of 17 Democratic senators, met with President Obama at the White House on Sept. 10.

The group's co-chairman, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., urged the president during Thursday's meeting to bridge the divides in the Democratic Party be embracing a public option as a "fallback."

"If there is no meaningful competition after a couple of years, we would create competition through a public plan," Carper told ABC's Teddy Davis last week. "I think that could end up being the compromise because it bridges the differences between those who are for a robust public option and those who are adamantly opposed to a public option."

In addition to being supported by Carper, a Democrat, a public option with a trigger has also been touted by Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine who has so far been the only GOP senator who seems interested in cutting a deal with Democrats on health-care reform.

Watch Landrieu's comments on "This Week" HERE:

Read the full "This Week" transcript HERE:

Read more about Carper's comments to the president HERE:

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