Barack Obama

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Edwards joins bipartisan group of governors saying Senate should reject repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM

President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier." - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier."

The Senate health care replacement for the Affordable Care Act may have collapsed (though Congressional GOP leaders and President Donald Trump have expressed support for "just repeal" rather than "repeal and replace"), but a bipartisan group of governors — including Gov. John Bel Edwards — has issued a statement calling for the repeal's rejection.

"The Senate should immediately reject efforts to 'repeal' the current system and replace sometime later," the statement reads. "This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets."

Since Edwards implemented the federal Medicaid expansion in Louisiana one year ago, more than 400,000 Louisianans have gotten health care. The repeal would leave them in limbo. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was set to reveal its analysis of the bill yesterday, but did not do so.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Louisiana lawmakers, activists urge Sens. Cassidy and Kennedy to condemn Senate health care bill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Gov. John Bel Edwards said the bill "specifically disadvantages" Louisiana. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards said the bill "specifically disadvantages" Louisiana.

With the release of a 142-page draft early Thursday morning, the Senate finally revealed its much-anticipated (and, by many, dreaded) plan that could make good on the long-term Republican promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.

The bill's release offered the first opportunity for the public — and many underinformed senators — to view and critique the Senate's plan, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Before its reveal, the bill already had come under fire for an unusually secretive drafting process featuring no public hearings and little debate on the Senate floor.

Within its text: higher premiums for older people, the elimination of the individual and employer mandates (you won't have to carry insurance, and employers don't have to provide it for you), a year-long freeze on Planned Parenthood funding, fewer subsidies to help people buy insurance and cuts to federal Medicaid dollars which support the working poor, 40 percent of American children and people with disabilities. (An easy-to-read breakdown is being updated at The Washington Post.)

Throughout the state, a chorus of lawmakers, public health observers and activists have begun to speak out against this health care plan. But the power lies with Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, who will now turn their attentions to the legislation ahead of a potential vote next week.

Perhaps due to the bill's length and complexity, they have yet to comment extensively on the bill's details. Instead, they've leaned on familiar rhetoric from the past several weeks.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Huh? Louisianans love Medicaid expansion, but hate "Obamacare"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 11:46 AM

A "second line for health care" last month in New Orleans drew health care providers who spoke out in favor of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • KAT STROMQUIST
  • A "second line for health care" last month in New Orleans drew health care providers who spoke out in favor of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

In spite of “widespread approval” of last year’s Medicaid expansion in the state, Louisianans largely have an unfavorable and deeply divided view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to The Louisiana Survey 2017’s fifth report released today by the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs.

The survey shows that overall 72 percent of Louisiana respondents approve of the state’s expansion of its Medicaid program, while less than 50 percent have a favorable opinion of the ACA, which provided for the expansion.

Nevertheless, in the last three years more Louisianans have signaled they approve of the federal health care law, which has been nicknamed Obamacare.

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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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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Affordable Care Act is subject of first bill pre-filed for the 2017 Louisiana legislative session

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 1:27 PM

State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington.
  • State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington.
State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington, in a bill filed almost three months prior to the 2017 general legislative session, is seeking an exemption for Louisiana residents from Affordable Care Act (ACA) noncompliance penalties.

The filing of House Bill 6 came shortly after President Donald Trump signed a similar executive order on Inauguration Day, mandating ACA-related federal departments and agencies waive provisions imposing a financial burden on states or individuals.

In his order, Trump said the aim was to “minimize unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act” pending its repeal by Congress.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

As Congress votes to begin repeal of Affordable Care Act, Edwards and Landrieu tout Medicaid expansion success in Louisiana

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Dr. Rebekah Gee, head of the Louisiana Department of Health, touted what they called health care success in Louisiana at a press conference today at the University Medical Center.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Dr. Rebekah Gee, head of the Louisiana Department of Health, touted what they called health care success in Louisiana at a press conference today at the University Medical Center.

One day after President-elect Donald Trump held a press conference in which he repeatedly vowed to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a group of Louisiana leaders gathered at University Medical Center in New Orleans to commemorate the one-year anniversary since Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill allowing Medicaid expansion into the state. That expansion, which went into place last July, has resulted in more than 378,000 newly insured Louisianans, according to figures provided by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

"Behind all these numbers is a real live person," Edwards said.

Refusing the Medicaid expansion was a cornerstone of former Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, while Edwards had made it a campaign plank. Edwards called signing Medicaid expansion "the easiest big decision I will ever make as governor."

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Bobby Jindal's back, with more health care advice

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering his advice on repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Former Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering his advice on repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal — who made fierce criticism of the Affordable Care Act a cornerstone of his aborted run for president — wrote an op-ed yesterday for Politico titled "How to Drain the Health Care Swamp."

"We must repeal all of the new Obamacare spending and taxes," Jindal wrote, "and consider that our baseline against which we measure any repeal plan."

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wynton Marsalis to receive National Humanities Medal

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Wynton Marsalis will receive a medal next week from the National Endowment for the Humanities. - CLAY MCBRIDE
  • CLAY MCBRIDE
  • Wynton Marsalis will receive a medal next week from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Add another award to the portfolio of Wynton Marsalis: the New Orleans trumpeter and composer will be awarded a National Humanities Medal next week in a White House ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama.

While Marsalis won't be at the ceremony — he's playing a concert at New York's Rose Theater that night —  it's an accolade he can add to his 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Music and several Grammy Awards. Marsalis is currently the director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York.

Eleven other people will receive the medal that night, and the event will be livestreamed on the White House website

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Y@ Speak: Invest-ed

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 5:40 PM

President Obama visits Louisiana following the August floods, Invest 99 Luftballoons pops its head into the Gulf, the Saints pick up some Duraflame logs to get started on this season's tire fire, and more from the final hours of The Worst Month.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: Oh! You pretty things

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM


A David Bowie memorial parade and several streets-sized block party made the French Quarter on Saturday night look like the bottom of the box where you keep your glittery Christmas ornaments. Also: Everyone turns into a Powerball goblin, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans Baton Rouge, and Gov. John Bel Edwards is pope of Louisiana.

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