Landrieu and reading comprehension

LANDRIEU AND READING COMPREHENSION…. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana went further than nearly any other Senate Democrat this week, stating without equivocation that she is “not open to a public option” as part of health care reform. She added, “Public option is not something that I support. I don’t think it’s the right way to go.”

While that was obviously disappointing, Landrieu’s conservative position was also something of a surprise, given that she’d previously said the opposite. Specifically, Landrieu wrote, “[Health Care for America Now] principles embody an approach that actually delivers a solution of guaranteed quality, affordable health care for all in America. Under this approach, everyone gets a choice of health insurance plans, including the right to keep your current insurance, choose another private plan or to join a public health insurance plan.”

She added, “Again, I support the HCAN Statement of Common Purpose, and I oppose the ‘on your own’ approaches to health care reform that go against these principles.” The HCAN Statement of Common Purpose that Landrieu explicitly endorsed calls for “a choice of a private insurance plan, including keeping the insurance you have if you like it, or a public insurance plan without a private insurer middleman that guarantees affordable coverage.”

So, what happened? It’s a funny story.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) signed a letter in November affirming support for a public insurance option, but her spokesman said Thursday that she didn’t “necessarily look at it word for word.”

The senator skimmed the letter to Health Care for America Now during a November campaign event, agreed with most of the principles, and signed it, Landrieu spokesman Aaron Saunders said.

So, a 12-year veterans of the U.S. Senate endorsed a specific policy agenda, about the biggest domestic policy debate of the year, without reading it?

What’s more, while Landrieu referenced the senator endorsing a public option in November, a Huffington Post item also noted that Landrieu sent a signed letter to HCAN, dated April 11.

Also yesterday, Landrieu’s spokesperson said the senator’s opposition to a public plan is limited to Ted Kennedy’s Medicare-like public option, not the other public plan possibilities.

In summary, Landrieu supports a public option, opposes a public option, and rejects one possible public option, but not necessarily the others. Good to know.