Dems’ TV Clash: Dean & Landrieu Debate Public Option

Dec 16, 2009 6:34pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports: The internal fight among Democrats over health-care reform reached a fevered pitch Wednesday evening on MSNBC’s “Hardball” as former DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) clashed over the lack of a government insurance option in the health-care legislation currently being debated in the United States Senate. “It forces us into the insurance industry. We don’t want to be forced into the insurance industry. You took away our choice,” said Dean. “That is wrong!” “You never had that choice to begin with,” replied Landrieu. Dean then jumped in, saying: “The president campaigned on it, Mary. The president of the United States campaigned on it. He absolutely did.” “The president never campaigned on it,” said Landrieu while Dean was still talking. To which Dean shot back, saying: “You are not accurate on that. He campaigned on it. He absolutely did. You are not accurate on that. He campaigned for the federal employees benefit with the public option. That’s what he campaigned for.” Dean is right in saying that a government insurance option was part of Obama’s campaign proposal even though it did not receive as much emphasis as other parts of his health-care plan. Landrieu sought to defend her stance by pointing to a separate promise that Obama made during last year’s campaign which he has continued to emphasize since moving into the White House. “‘If you like the insurance that you have, you will be able to keep it’,” said Landrieu, paraphrasing one of Obama’s oft-repeated, more moderate campaign pledges.  Even though the Senate bill has been stripped of the kind of government insurance option that Obama called for during the campaign, Landrieu ended the joint interview by touting a non-profit option which she said would be part of the legislation which emerges from the Senate. “In the bill that the governor is now saying that he is not for, there is a national non-profit option that is the same choices that members of Congress and federal employees have,” said Landrieu. “If that’s not enough, I don’t know what is.”

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus