Awaiting a Bigger Payoff?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 10:55 PM
Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu, senators from Arkansas and Louisiana respectively, insist that -- contrary to Harry Reid's assertions -- there is no health care deal.  They claim to be waiting for the CBO to score the new bill.

In a sane world, this would make sense.  After all, how can any fiscally responsible human being vote for a bill that will create a back-door government option by expanding the Medicare rolls, when the program already is due to go bankrupt in 2017?

The problem, however -- especially given Landrieu's history -- is that both women may simply be waiting to see how big a payoff they can extract in return for their support.

Given that a CNN poll today found that more than 6 in 10 Americans -- and 2/3 of independents -- oppose the Senate bill, it stands to reason that Landrieu and Lincoln might figure that they shouldn't be supporting a turkey for free.