While this week she’s out cutting a bunch of ribbons, Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu last week was casting some very interesting votes in the Senate. Most concerned allowing discussion and voting on certain amendments to the Reconciliation Act of 2010, the contorted legal exercise to ram through the ruinous health care legislation supported by Democrats only that will increase the premiums and cost of health care while lowering its quality.
The list of her choices is illuminating, to say the least. All in all, she voted against:
- Preventing Medicare underfunding by transferring money from it to other entitlements
- Provisions designed to eliminate fraud, abuse, and waste under the new regime, twice
- Lowering taxes on medical devices, and again for reducing taxes for children with disabilities, and again for veterans
- Ensuring the new law does not degrade health care provision for veterans and their families
- Allowing consideration that she and other committee leaders be required to purchase insurance through the new health exchanges or that all Members be required to enroll in Medicaid
- Eliminating fraudulent payments and prohibiting coverage of Viagra for child molesters and rapists and for drugs intended to induce abortion
- The right of states to opt out of the provisions of the new law
- Waiving a $40,000 penalty to employers to hire somebody previously unemployed
- Measures to prevent job losses as a result of the Act’s changes
- Reducing tax liabilities for individuals with high medical expenses
- Increasing women’s access to breast cancer screenings
- Allowing consideration of legal changes that would encourage free care to the medically underserved
- Ensuring that the system would not benefit those in the country illegally
- Applying the Act if it does not reduce health care costs to individuals, families, and taxpayers
- Preventing using the Act as a backdoor way to increase taxes by not indexing for inflation and on allowing consideration of the same for health insurance policies
- Jettisoning the dubiously-Constitutional scheme of penalizing people for not buying insurance
- Awarding permanent tax credits provided to small business to comply with the extra costs imposed by the new regime
Note that these actions prevented even any discussion or votes on these matters. If Landrieu doesn’t support free and democratic debate on these points, one must wonder whether she supports any of this. She had a perfect opportunity to reveal her views, yet she chose to hide along with almost every other Democrat.
So Landrieu must explain to her constituents, does she not want to help the disadvantaged to receive and pay for health care, or to protect taxpayers from waste, abuse, and fraud, or to save money in health care provision, or to prevent stealth tax hikes, or to increase access to life-saving medical procedures, or to safeguard states’ rights and the Constitution, or to have the law apply equally to all, or to prohibit federal funds going to satisfy the cravings of sex offenders and to pay for abortions? These are not hypotheticals – her own behavior leads reasonable observers to pose these legitimate questions.
Silence on these questions, raised by her own voting behavior, creates a dangerous impression that by her willingness to countenance these things therefore at the very least she must not care about them. Until she indicates otherwise, that’s a reasonable assumption.