Bill Cassidy

Friday, March 17, 2017

With vigil to save the Affordable Care Act, protesters send message to Sen. Bill Cassidy

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Gambit editor Kevin Allman last photographed this 6-year-old at Cassidy's recent, disastrous town hall. His family wants answers from the senator on prospective health care cuts.
  • Gambit editor Kevin Allman last photographed this 6-year-old at Cassidy's recent, disastrous town hall. His family wants answers from the senator on prospective health care cuts.

The Causeway Boulevard building that houses Senator Bill Cassidy's office is private property. Or it's private property, unless you have an appointment. Or it's only people with appointments who can park in the parking lot. Or the problem is a small pile of signs, which needed to be moved from the sidewalk.

With increasing irritation that erupted into a testy exchange with protestors, a blue-shirted representative who seemed to work for building management company Select Properties tried out these potential deterrents. He was doing his best to shoo off a small group of activists attending a two-day "vigil" outside Cassidy's office in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Apparently, his efforts had been repeated throughout the day, to limited success.)

Around 2 p.m. Friday, about 10 people stood outside the Metairie high rise as traffic sped past them, making their signs whip in the wind. There was retired educator Mary Ryan and 12-year-old Journey Wills, who had come on a field trip of sorts; in a recent homeschool unit on the Constitution, Wills became a big fan of the First Amendment. There was the actor and artist Todd d'Amour, who rattled off a startling number of objections to individual Trump cabinet officials while praising the way "Obamacare" has helped him pursue his art; and Anne Davis, whose attendance at today's protest was her first appearance at a demonstration since protesting the Vietnam War at age 12.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Editorial: 'Obamacare sucks'? No, what really sucks is ...

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 12:01 PM

At a town hall in Metairie last month, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy attempted to explain his proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which he called the "Patient Freedom Act." This week, he expressed disappointment with the GOP's proposed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million next year. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • At a town hall in Metairie last month, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy attempted to explain his proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which he called the "Patient Freedom Act." This week, he expressed disappointment with the GOP's proposed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million next year.


“I don’t mean any disrespect, but Obamacare sucks,” said U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy last fall, back when he was making folksy commercials to promote his Senate candidacy.

Of course, not having health insurance sucks, too. Receiving health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicaid expansion, only to have it snatched away? Sucks. Massive premium hikes for the elderly? Sucks. Not getting the health care you need, being forced to use emergency rooms for basic treatment, and having to choose bankruptcy if you want to stay alive? Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

At "milk carton" protest, constituents clamor for absent senator's response

Posted By on Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 5:46 PM

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Senator John Neely Kennedy's photograph peered out sheepishly from the side of a super-sized cardboard milk carton in front of the Hale Boggs Federal Building Sunday afternoon. "MISSING," said the legend above the photo.

The milk carton was constructed by Step Up Louisiana, one of several progressive groups who co-organized the protest March 5 to highlight what they say has been a lack of communication and response from the just-elected senator, especially about his position on high-priority issues such as the protection of the Affordable Care Act and the Trump's administration's moves to restrict immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

"You are missing and you are making bad decisions while in office," Step Up Louisiana co-director Maria Harmon said, addressing the absent Kennedy. "We don't serve [legislators]. They serve us."

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall: Fractious and furious constituents shout down the senator

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 8:02 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie.

Town halls around the country are fractious affairs these days for Republican members of Congress, but the crowd of hundreds that showed up at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie today for a town hall with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy was so raucous and furious that CNN began carrying it live.

People began arriving around noon to line up and hold a parking lot rally before the doors opened at 3 p.m., so attendees already were tired of waiting when Cassidy arrived 22 minutes late to the 3:30 p.m. town hall. The senator apologized, saying he was touring New Orleans tornado damage, an explanation that didn't go over well in the crowd of 200 or so who were allowed in, which jeered and booed him. And that was just the start.

"If all you want to do is vent," Cassidy said early on, "this will not be profitable."

They did. It wasn't.

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Slideshow: Protesters, supporters at Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 3:05 PM

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Congressional town hall meetings have become heaty affairs back home, and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall today at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Public Library is no exception. Several hundred people — mostly protesters — gathered outside starting at noon for the event, which was not scheduled to begin until 3:30 p.m.

Here are a few of the signs and people in the crowd.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cassidy, Kennedy sworn in to 115th U.S. Congress; GOP announces committee assignments

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 3:36 PM

U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (right) was sworn into the 115th U.S. Congress today by House Speaker Paul Ryan. - INSTAGRAM/STEVE SCALISE
  • INSTAGRAM/STEVE SCALISE
  • U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (right) was sworn into the 115th U.S. Congress today by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The 115th U.S. Congress was sworn in today in Washington, D.C. — bringing with it the first day of work for newly minted U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy, the former Louisiana state treasurer who beat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell in the December 2016 runoff.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy — with two years of service under his belt — now is Louisiana's senior senator, and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Metairie retains his title of Majority Whip of the House of Representatives. U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond — Louisiana's only Democratic member of Congress — was named chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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