by Max Brantley
There's no doubt Sen. Blanche Lincoln cast a -- maybe THE -- critical vote to end a filibuster and pass the Senate health reform bill. Without that vote, there'd be no talk today about the end to insurance company discrimination against sick people. It's also true that she voted in the Senate against the House's stronger "reconciliation" measure.
As Politico notes, this left her open to attack from both sides of the question.
Lincoln has issued a statement taking sharp exception to the SEIU ad, which plays up the vote the union didn't like, rather than the one it did. Lincoln's response notes that the senator is criticized in the ad by someone they once used for their own testimonial.
LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE
Today, the SEIU began airing a negative attack ad misrepresenting Senator Lincoln’s longtime fight for an end to insurance discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions. Senator Lincoln has been a champion for health care reform, fighting specifically to end the practice of discrimination based on a person’s health status. Senator Lincoln supported the Senate health care bill, which ended this practice, and which President Obama signed into law on March 22. In addition, in every Congress since 2004, Senator Lincoln has introduced legislation aimed at helping small businesses and their workers access health insurance coverage, which included a ban on pre-existing condition exclusions. Her bill was endorsed by the SEIU and the NFIB.
The woman that appears in the SEIU ad, Nancy Shaw of Hot Springs, contacted Sen. Lincoln’s office in December to thank Sen. Lincoln for her vote for the health care reform bill that became law and ends pre-existing discrimination by insurance companies. She also consented to issuing a statement for inclusion in a Lincoln press release. Now, 709,968 Arkansas children will no longer be susceptible to insurance company’s decisions to exclude them from coverage based on a pre-existing condition.
Nancy Shaw one of Many Arkansans Who Praised Senator Lincoln’s Support of Health Care Reform
Nancy Shaw Thanked Sen. Lincoln For Voting For Health Care Reform. In December 2009, Nancy Shaw was featured in a press release praising Senator Lincoln’s support for the health care overhaul bill. She said, “I have a daughter with Down syndrome and I’m self employed. I can’t get her health insurance, so I think health care reform will help us… “[Lincoln’s vote] really says she’s paying attention to the people that voted for her. The fact that she voted for it really says it does matter.” [Lincoln Press Release, 12/24/2009]