Melancon Raps Vitter’s Silence on Health Care Provision

Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:08pm

Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon compared Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to a bad teammate Wednesday for the senator’s silence on a provision in the health care overhaul bill that Republicans have dubbed the “Louisiana Purchase.”

Melancon’s football analogy came in the wake of efforts by GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to strike the provision.

“If he’s going to not stand up to Tom Coburn then it would be like the [New Orleans] Saints line just peeling away and letting the defensive rushers go in and get [quarterbck] Drew Brees. Just let him have it,” said Melancon, who is challenging Vitter in the Senate race in 2010 and is working hard to paint Vitter as a man out of touch with the needs of Louisiana voters.

The provision at issue would increase Medicaid subsidies to states that have been declared a major disaster area in the past seven years. The bill has been championed by the Louisiana delegation and Vitter joined Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and Louisiana’s seven House Members at a meeting earlier this year to discuss how to advance the Medicaid fix.