Lincoln Tries To Shake Her Corporate Shill Image With Faux-Populist Amendment

Clearly, Blanche Lincoln is upset that the people of Arkansas are realizing that she cares more about what is best for private insurance companies than she does about what is best for the American people. To try to shake that image, the Senator has co-sponsored a basically meaningless, faux-populist Amendment:

Under current law, companies can claim up to $1 million per executive in annual write-offs. The Lincoln proposal would reduce the write-off to $400,000, the same annual salary as the president draws. According to Lincoln, the bill would also save $651 million in revenue over the next 10 years.

Given that many private insurance CEOs have annual compensation well above $1 million, I doubt this will result in a single CEO getting one dime less in salary. And compared to the $500 billion in subsidies the bill will give private insurance companies, or the billions of dollars in annual profits for these companies, this $651 million is a drop in the bucket.

And, just in case this Amendment might actually hurt a millionaire health insurance CEO, Lincoln left a huge loophole:

The cap would apply to companies that earned 25 percent or more of their income from Americans who buy insurance from government-created exchanges.

You see, only about 10% of Americans will get their insurance on the exchange. This means it is unlikely that most insurance companies will even be affected by this amendment.

So, Blanche Lincoln opposed a public option that will provide competition for private insurance companies, which would save both the government and regular Americans billions. Instead, she makes a big show of sponsoring an amendment that pretends to go after insurance CEO pay, but, in reality, is unlikely to affect any of these millionaires. Sorry Blanche, but no amount of meaningless symbolic amendments will change the fact that you are doing everything you can to defend the profits of the private insurance industry.

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