Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) may regret doubling down on Obamacare earlier this summer as she suddenly realizes that her support for unpopular law will likely come back to haunt her next year in her re-election bid.
Politico reported yesterday that Landrieu would introduce a measure that would allow Americans to keep their health insurance coverage amid a flurry of reports documenting that hundreds of thousands of people have been told that they will lose their plans because of Obamacare. A similar measure has already been introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
“The promise was made, and it should be kept,” said Landrieu via Politico. “And it was our understanding when we voted for that bill that people when they have insurance could keep with what they had. So I’m going to be working on that fix.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted on Monday that President Barack Obama lied when he promised Americans that they could keep their health insurance coverage under Obamacare, a claim that he made many times. NBC News reported the Obama Administration anticipated, just months after the law was passed in 2010, that up to 67% of consumers on the individual health insurance market would lose their coverage.
Landrieu, a red state Democrat, now finds herself in a precarious position, especially since she made the same promise that President Obama made during the debate in Congress over Obamacare.
“While those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan,” said Landrieu in December 2009. “This is a very accurate description of this bill before us.”
She recently told The Weekly Standard that “[w]e said when we passed that, ‘If you had insurance that was good insurance that you wanted to keep it, you could keep it.’” The about-face that she’s trying to do here is obvious and an effort to save her political career. But it may be too little, too late.
In August, Landrieu proudly defended her vote for Obamacare, a law that her constituents oppose, at an event sponsored by the Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce and declared, “If I had to vote for the bill again, I would vote for it tomorrow.”
While it’s too early to make any sort of prediction in this race, as polls indicate that it’s close, Landrieu may look back on that comment and realize it was the moment in which she destroyed her political career.