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Monday, June 26, 2017

Senate bill would cut health care to 'hundreds of thousands' on Medicaid in Louisiana

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 6:00 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

As the U.S. Senate mulls a vote on the GOP's recently released bill designed to gut the Affordable Care Act, Louisiana officials and medical groups are urging senators to consider the potentially devastating impact it could have to people relying on Medicaid's expansion in the state.

In July 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards approved Medicaid's expansion to include coverage for more than 433,000 people in the state, including more than 100,000 receiving preventive cancer treatment and more than 15,000 women who have received breast cancer screenings. More than 150 people were diagnosed with colon cancer after screenings made possible through recent Medicaid coverage.

Today's report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the Senate's "Better Care Reconciliation Act" would increase the number of uninsured people in the U.S. by 22 million while reducing the federal deficit by $321 billion from 2017-2026 — mostly by cutting spending on Medicaid, which would decline in 2026 by 26 percent compared to projections based on current law. Medicaid would lose more than $770 billion by 2026.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cassidy still undecided on health care bill, he tells Face the Nation

Posted By on Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 2:39 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy on Face the Nation.
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy on Face the Nation.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the Senate Republicans who's been openly hesitant about the health care bill released this week by the Senate, told Face the Nation's John Dickerson this morning he was still undecided about whether he could support it.

"There are things in this bill which adversely affect my state that are peculiar to my state, a couple of things I'm concerned about," Cassidy said. "But if those can be addressed, I will. And if they can't be addressed, I won't. So, right now, I'm undecided."

Cassidy didn't elaborate, and Dickerson didn't follow up on what those things might be.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Congressional Black Caucus, led by U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, declines Trump's request for meeting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 6:17 PM

The executive board of the Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in March. The group now has formally rejected a Trump administration request for another meeting. - THE WHITE HOUSE/BENJAMIN APPLEBAUM
  • THE WHITE HOUSE/BENJAMIN APPLEBAUM
  • The executive board of the Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in March. The group now has formally rejected a Trump administration request for another meeting.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a group of 49 lawmakers led by New Orleans-area U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, today formally rejected a 12-day-old request from President Donald Trump to meet with the president.

According to POLITICO:
Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC.

“As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO.

But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Y@ Speak: thoughts and prayers edition

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 6:25 PM

Twitter reacts to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Legislature closes out the very special limited edition ultra-rare super exclusive session, and New Orleans endures chin straps, cement, and Sidney Torres.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Hill: 'Meet Mitch Landrieu, the 2020 dark-horse Dem'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 3:22 PM

The Hill is talking up Mayor Mitch Landrieu's chances for the presidency in 2020.
  • The Hill is talking up Mayor Mitch Landrieu's chances for the presidency in 2020.

Though he's said he has no interest in running for President in 2020, the national media just won't seem to leave Mayor Mitch Landrieu alone.

First it was The New York Times, then Chuck Todd on Meet the Press — and now The Hill is bandying about the Landrieu name in highly flattering terms, saying that unnamed "Democrats say Landrieu and other non-establishment politicians like him could be the future of the party."

It's a confusing (if highly flattering) piece — after calling Landrieu a "non-establishment" politician, it goes on to stress the Landrieu family's longtime political bona fides. The Hill also states "Landrieu would have success in appealing to progressives. He sought to curb violence by pushing gun safety laws last year. 'We are not going to stop until we change a culture of violence to a culture of peace,' he said at the signing of the city's gun ordinances" — without mentioning that violent crime is spiking in New Orleans right now.

Perhaps the most reasonable voice in Amie Parnes' profile is that of veteran political pollster Dr. Ed Chernevak:
Ed Chervenak, a professor of politics at the University of New Orleans, said that while Landrieu has “turned the city around and moved it forward,” his presidential prospects for 2020 seem like a long shot. “It’s hard to see the leap from mayor,” Chervenak said. 
Read the whole thing. (And skip the comments.)

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Commentary: Steve Scalise — Out of tragedy, common purpose

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 9:41 AM

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

There were many thoughtful statements of sympathy following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and four others during a baseball practice in a Virginia park last week. Perhaps none was more thoughtful than that of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed at a constituent event in 2011 (six people died in that attack). “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer,” Giffords wrote. “This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”

That didn’t stop many from jumping online and filtering the tragedy through their own ideological lenses — whether it was noting that the shooter had been a volunteer with Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, or trying to make ironic comparisons between Scalise’s hospital stay and his support for President Donald Trump’s attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act, or Scalise’s pro-gun position and the alleged shooter. All this was being batted around even as Scalise was undergoing surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he remained in critical condition at the end of last week.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Louisiana legislature begins day with prayer for Scalise and other victims of this morning's shooting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 1:15 PM

From left, House speaker Taylor Barras, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Senate president John Alario gather to pray for U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in a Virginia park. - PHOTO BY SARAH GAMARD
  • PHOTO BY SARAH GAMARD
  • From left, House speaker Taylor Barras, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Senate president John Alario gather to pray for U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in a Virginia park.

After news broke that U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot in the hip early this morning while practicing in a Virginia park for a charity baseball game later this week, the Louisiana Legislature and Gov. John Bel Edwards began their day gathered in prayer in the Capitol Rotunda.

Edwards, state Sen. President John Alario, R-Westwego, and House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, led a prayer for Louisiana House members, who retired last night expecting to dedicate their day to a handful of fiscal bills.

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Landrieu postpones State of the City, says 'senseless violence cannot go unchecked' in wake of Scalise shooting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 1:10 PM

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu postponed his annual State of the City address this morning following the shooting of Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and several Congressional staffers at a baseball field outside Washington D.C.

The speech was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 14 at the Civic Theatre. Landrieu will announce a rescheduled date for the address at a later date.

“In times like these, we have to pause and reflect, which is why I postponed the State of the City Address," Landrieu said from City Hall. "I want to ask the people of New Orleans and the country to keep him and the other victims in your thoughts and prayers. I am encouraged by reports that he is in stable condition."
Landrieu and District D City Councilman Jared Brossett both served with Scalise in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Brossett said he's glad the shooting "was not a worse event than it is."

Landrieu called the shooting an "attack on our very democracy" and called for unity "against cowardly violence."

"Unfortunately we have been here before, but it's no less shocking," he said. "This is not a partisan issue ... This senseless violence in America cannot go unchecked."

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Reactions to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 1:07 PM

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip.
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip.

This morning's shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others at a Congressional baseball game in Virginia drew quick responses from Louisiana and national lawmakers, as well as representatives of Republican and Democratic groups:

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy:
As we wait for facts to be learned, Louisiana lifts up in prayer Congressman Steve Scalise and his family. Reports say he is in stable condition. Please continue to keep him and all those injured in your prayers.

U. S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy
:
“Steve is a good friend, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Hating people because you disagree with them is wrong. It is un-Christian, it is un-American, and it has gotten worse. My thoughts right now are with Steve, his family, the aide who was shot, and the Capitol Police officers. It is just a bad day for America.”

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond:
I am saddened by the horrific news from GOP baseball practice. My prayers are with my colleague Congressman Steve Scalise, the Capitol police officers, and staff.

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Scalise in 'stable condition' after shooting at baseball field

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 9:18 AM

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.

A gunman fired into a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia outside Washington D.C. early June 14, hitting U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, and several Congressional staffers, according to the Associated Press. House Majority Whip Scalise was shot in the hip and is in stable condition, according to a statement from his office.

"Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues," the statement said. "We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers ... This office will release additional information regarding the Whip's condition as appropriate."

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