Bill Cassidy

Sunday, December 31, 2017

12 Clancy DuBos 'Politics' columns of 2017

Posted By on Sun, Dec 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM

In our annual Year in Review issue, Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos always composes his Top 10 political stories of the year. Here are 12 of his "Politics" columns from 2017.

• Counting coup, for now: DA Leon Cannizzaro and Mayor Mitch Landrieu exchange barbs over funding and crime

• All-out war in Jefferson Parish: Mike Yenni and Chris Roberts have accused each other of being unfit for office

• The target is truth itself: A National World War II exhibit on Nazi propaganda resonates today

• Our monumental challenge: Coming to grips with the past as the city takes down its monuments to the Confederacy

• Disarm all abusers: House Bill 223 prevents domestic abusers from possessing guns

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Editorial: Saving 'net neutrality' — what you can do

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 4:39 PM

A Sept. 2017 rally in San Francisco to preserve net neutrality. - CREATIVE COMMONS/CREDO ACTION
  • A Sept. 2017 rally in San Francisco to preserve net neutrality.

Next week, the U.S. government seems poised to roll back the Open Internet Order, a 2015 policy approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of a strategy to ensure what is broadly called “net neutrality.” Net neutrality requires internet service providers (ISPs) to be “neutral” pipelines, neither favoring one site over another nor getting in the way of what consumers want to see. They are not allowed, for instance, to create fast and slow loading speeds for particular websites, nor block any websites in general. Without net neutrality, an ISP could favor its own search engine or news page (Verizon, for instance, owns Yahoo, and may prefer you use Yahoo over Google, or Yahoo News over The New York Times).

Simply put, net neutrality is good public policy.

Without net neutrality, surfing the internet could become a lot like paying for cable TV. In ISP might decide to section off groups of popular websites and charge extra prices for that bundle, similar to the way cable TV companies bundle premium channels. It could also work in reverse, with an ISP demanding that streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu pay extra to prioritize their streaming traffic. ISPs would have to disclose this information, but with ISP monopolies operating in many areas of the country, it still would leave consumers little choice.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Editorial: The latest GOP health care bill brought great harm — to Sen. Bill Cassidy's reputation

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 8:30 AM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

As the latest rushed attempt to end the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) collapsed this week, it took with it another casualty: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s reputation.

Cassidy, a mild-mannered physician, had insisted for months that he would hold President Donald Trump to his campaign promise that any health care replacement would have to be affordable, cover preexisting conditions and insure more people. None of that made it into the GOP’s latest repeal effort. The “Graham-Cassidy plan,” sponsored by Cassidy and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, was widely agreed to be the worst repeal bill of all.

It was slammed by major medical organizations, physicians’ groups and hospitals, and some health insurance giants for its plan to turn over responsibility and most funding to the states while phasing out Medicaid dollars entirely. This was the bill that Cassidy and Graham sought to push through Congress in little more than a week.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Onion eviscerates Sen. Bill Cassidy over the imploded GOP health care plan

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:50 PM

  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

As news came out today that the latest GOP health plan — the so-called "Graham-Cassidy plan" led by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana's own Sen. Bill Cassidy — was dead before it came to a vote, The Onion raked Cassidy over the coals in a fake op-ed piece titled "Being A Senator Means Making Tough Decisions That Aren’t Always Popular, Smart, Politically Viable, Or Beneficial To Your Constituents":
I want everyone in Washington and around the country to know that I will not cave to what’s smart, practical, and resoundingly favored just to score some cheap political points. You don’t put an Obamacare repeal-and-replacement bill like this forward because it’s the popular thing to do—you do it because you believe with the very core of your being in an unwanted, preposterous, unfathomably cruel, politically toxic idea that analysis after analysis has determined will send vast swaths of low- and middle-income America to an early grave. Period.
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy vs. Sanders headed to CNN Sept. 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN. - PHOTOS BY AFGE & GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN.

CNN will air a "town hall" Monday, Sept. 25 with U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham debating Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar over proposed health care legislation.

Anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute event, aired live at 8 p.m.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel: 'Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:23 PM


U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy got lots of publicity in the last few months for saying any GOP health care plan would have to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" — a term he coined after talking with the late night talk show host, whose son needed open-heart surgery shortly after birth. Cassidy, a physician, promised Kimmel and others that any Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act would include coverage for all; no discrimination for pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for families; and no lifetime caps on coverage.

The new Graham-Cassidy health care bill, unveiled this week, does none of these things, as many medical groups have pointed out — as have Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee, who wrote letters objecting to the proposed legislation. Kimmel chimed in tonight on his talk show, saying, "Bill Cassidy just lied to my face."
"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son's health problems. Because I have to."
"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," Kimmel concluded. "It's a lie detector test, and you're welcome to stop by the studio and take it any time."

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Report: Cassidy-Graham health care plan could cost Louisiana $2.3 billion in health care funding; Cassidy's office responds [updated]

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 1:45 PM

  • Bill Cassidy.

It's been almost a month since a dramatic, wee-hours vote July 28 felled so-called "skinny repeal," the Senate's most recent bill intended to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . The Senate officially returns from summer recess Sept. 5; though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested tax reform will be his top priority for fall, Sen. Bill Cassidy met with Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price July 31 to continue advocating for his health care ideas.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a new analysis this morning evaluating the effects of the Cassidy-Graham amendment attached to the Senate's most recent health care plan. Should Cassidy-Graham form the basis of a new ACA repeal effort, as some have speculated it might, the report warns it may share many problems with earlier Senate plans. According to the analysis, under a Cassidy-Graham plan, Louisiana could lose $2.3 billion in health care funding by 2026.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Editorial: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on from health care repeal

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year.

Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything. Now, with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it’s abundantly clear that Beltway Republicans have no idea how to follow through on their promise of “repeal and replace” — even though they’ve had seven years to figure it out.

“We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will,” said Arizona Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, shortly before three attempts at repeal failed in late July. “All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”

McCain is correct. During the last seven years, the ACA has continued to rise in public opinion polls. Even its detractors praise some of its provisions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. A Gallup poll conducted in April found 55 percent of Americans now approve of the ACA, while only 30 percent want a complete repeal.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Louisiana senators support failed attempt to repeal ACA: what's next

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM

  • Bill Cassidy.

Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy supported the Senate's latest attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act, including a late-night vote on a so-called "skinny" repeal, amid Republicans' failed efforts to dismantle the health care plan.

In its latest vote held early Friday morning (on the week of the 52nd anniversary of the passage of Medicaid), the Senate failed to pass a "skinny" repeal measure that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured people in the U.S. by 15 million in 2018. Premiums for people buying their own insurance would likely rise by 20 percent.

The "skinny" repeal plan — an eight-page bill dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, unveiled just hours before senators voted on it — would strike the individual mandate from the ACA, roll back requirements for employers to offer insurance to employees, cut funding to Planned Parenthood and increase funding to community health centers, and cut funds to numerous public health programs earmarked by the ACA.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cassidy and Kennedy join Senate in vote to debate repeal of ACA

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 5:25 PM

Demonstrators marched against cuts to the Affordable Care Act in New Orleans earlier this year. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators marched against cuts to the Affordable Care Act in New Orleans earlier this year.

Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie vote in the U.S. Senate July 25 to begin debate over some form of repeal of the Affordable Care Act, though senators still haven't revealed which version it will ultimately consider. Senators will debate this week and consider a long list of amendments, following a byzantine drafting process that has kept voters in the dark.

Also voting "yes" were Louisiana Sens. John Neely Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, who until today had not publicly committed to a position on any repeal or replace measure, other than his proposed version with Sen. Lindsey Graham. Cassidy — who called today's vote a "first step" — applauded the move in a statement sent after today's Senate vote.

“Nothing changes until the first step is taken," he said in a statement. "There will be many others. But we must replace Obamacare with something which fulfils President Trump’s campaign pledges to maintain coverage, protect those with preexisting conditions, and lower premiums without mandates. Power needs to be returned to the patients and states."

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