John Neely Kennedy

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. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • 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
  • 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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Ahead of potential Senate health care vote Tuesday, Kennedy pledges support for bills on WWL-TV

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 10:41 AM

U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy.
  • U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy.

In a segment
that aired last night, U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy told WWL-TV's David Hammer that he supports the Senate health care bill as currently written, or full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement — basically greenlighting whatever legislation might appear before him today.

"If [the health care bill] didn't change ... I would vote for it, because it's better than the Affordable Care Act (ACA)," Kennedy said. "First chance I get to repeal Obamacare, I'm gonna do it."

Kennedy's remarks come amid a chaotic process and confusion about a potential vote that may take place in the Senate Tuesday. Kennedy is referring to the text of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the repeal-and-replace bill that was released by the Senate last month to widespread condemnation in Louisiana. That bill failed to garner sufficient support among senators to be brought to a vote in recent weeks.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Editorial: Once again, demagogues taking pot shots at New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 4:01 PM

screen_shot_2017-07-20_at_3.59.53_pm.png

U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy was in New Orleans this week — not for a town hall or public constituents’ meeting, which he has yet to hold in the state’s largest city since he took office six months ago. No, he was here to talk with WWL-TV about the city’s crime problem, which he once again said could turn New Orleans into “the next Detroit.”

Kennedy previously used the “Detroit” slur in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of FBI Director Christopher Wray. In that hearing, Kennedy also claimed hyperbolically that the Crescent City was becoming “the murder and armed robbery capital of the Western Hemisphere.”

Since Kennedy has been scarce around these parts after moving to Washington D.C., we thought we’d remind him of a few things.

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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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Thursday, July 13, 2017

At New Orleans East town hall, panelists defend Medicaid expansion, oppose Senate health care bill

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 9:54 PM

Paneilsts Nick Albares, Dawn Hebert, Dr. Keith Winfrey and Cyndi Nguyen lauded the 2016 expansion of Louisiana's Medicaid program.
  • Paneilsts Nick Albares, Dawn Hebert, Dr. Keith Winfrey and Cyndi Nguyen lauded the 2016 expansion of Louisiana's Medicaid program.

In the bright front room at New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center (NOELA), a crowd of about forty people gathered July 13 for a town hall that gradually mounted a firm opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The panel, which was organized by Louisiana Budget Project, included LBP senior policy analyst Nick Albares, NOELA chief medical officer Dr. Keith Winfrey, VIET executive director Cyndi Nguyen and community advocate Dawn Hebert. (Nguyen and Hebert are both New Orleans City Council candidates running for the District E seat, which includes New Orleans East.) Panelists cited the importance of the ACA-connected Medicaid expansion to New Orleans East residents and Louisianans, and called on audience members to urge their senators to vote against the BCRA.

"At the end of the day, what [the BCRA bill] means is hundreds of thousands of people will lose heath insurance, including 50,000 children," Albares said. "It would reverse all the progress that we've been making over the past year."

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Landrieu fires back at Sen. John Neely Kennedy's criticism of New Orleans' crime rate

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 3:55 PM

U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy.
  • U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has lately been critical of New Orleans’ crime rate and Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s crimefighting strategy, giving an interview to Fox 8 News and writing a guest column for NOLA.com on the subject. "Crime is stealing the soul of New Orleans," Kennedy wrote. "It's choking the life and livelihood out of it. I used to live in New Orleans, and now I'm a little scared to go for a walk there. Our mayor seems preoccupied with other things and other ambitions,” Among the remedies Kennedy has suggested is implementation of a "stop-question-frisk" policy for the New Orleans Police Department.
Today Landrieu fired back, citing what he saw as the city's accomplishments since he's been in office. "Murder and violent crime rates are down over 60 percent from their historic peak in the 1990s," he said in a statement. "I have been to too many funerals and consoled too many mothers at crime scenes, for a career politician like John Kennedy to pander from the peanut gallery, especially when he can actually do something to help."

(Both Kennedy and Landrieu have been involved in Louisiana politics since the late 1980s.)

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Louisiana Budget Project hosting health care town halls

Posted By on Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act.

With few (if any) public appearances and community meetings held by Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, public policy and fiscal analysis group the Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) will host a series of informational town halls to discuss and answer questions about the U.S. Senate's proposed health bill.

The LBP will host two town halls in the New Orleans area — one in New Orleans East this Thursday, July 13, and another in Metairie at the Jefferson Parish Library on W. Napoleon Avenue on July 18.
The Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act is estimated to cut Medicaid — which has signed on more than 436,000 people in Louisiana since its expansion in 2016 — by more than $770 billion by 2026. Gov. John Bel Edwards estimates the bill would force the state to increase costs to keep the expanded Medicaid program up to $250 million a year by 2022, or "end expansion outright," ending care plans for the anticipated 540,000 Louisianans insured through Medicaid by 2020.

The number of uninsured people in the U.S. will likely climb to 22 million.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Y@ Speak: crime time

Posted By on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 5:36 PM

Crime is at the focus of the State of the City, demonstrators are arrested at Sen. Bill Cassidy's office for protecting their health care, and Sen. John Neely Kennedy wants to use stop and frisk. Also: Rep. Clay Higgins goes on the worst field trip, Jrue Holiday is still a Pelican, and clueless Pink Floyd fans need a safe space.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Sen. John Kennedy calling for 'stop and frisk' in New Orleans, FOX 8 reports

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 8:33 PM

Sen. John Neely Kennedy. - CREATIVE COMMONS/TAMMY ANTHONY BAKER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/TAMMY ANTHONY BAKER
  • Sen. John Neely Kennedy.
In an interview with FOX 8 News today, Sen. John Neely Kennedy said Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) should implement a "stop and frisk" policy in order to combat crime in the city.
"It worked in New York," he said. "It's the only way I know left to get the guns and thugs and dopes off the street. We got young people killing young people and now other citizens, and the reason is they got these guns, and until you get the guns you're not going to stop it. The criticism of it is it's racial profiling. No, not when it's done correctly. When it's done correctly, race has nothing to do with it." 

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