Louisiana and Healthcare Reform

WLAE aired “Louisiana the State We’re In” tonight and it had several people on to discuss the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts the State of Louisiana. Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy, Louisiana State Senator and Louisiana Democratic Party head  Karen Carter Peterson and Steve Spires, head of the Louisiana Budget Project were all guests.

They first discussed the scheduled July 11th House repeal vote. Congressman Cassidy stated that the reason it is important to have this vote, even though it wont make the Senate and wouldn’t get signed by the President, is that we need to continue the discussion. Uh, what discussion? There has been no discussion on the part of the Republican Party on this issue. They never wanted to come to the table and deal with the Democrats on how to best reform Healthcare as they had no intent on ever helping Obama gain a political victory. He still managed to get one despite their best efforts, but they never wanted to discuss it so I cannot imagine they would want to discuss anything now. They are absolutely welcome to prove me wrong and I would be the first person to admit if I was wrong on it. They likely just want to use their Congressional platform to wave their banner and give more lies about the law instead of doing what they should be doing and creating a jobs bill to help put the American people back to work. Unfortunately, they don’t want Americans going back to work until a Republican President takes office.

Peterson and Cassidy debated the idea of Bobby Jindal rejecting the additional help for Louisiana’s working poor to help them get insurance via Medicaid when they normally wouldn’t be able to have any health coverage. Peterson described this as a callous disregard for the decision of the court and harmful for 500,000 Louisiana Citizens. Cassidy described this as Governor Jindal coming to the rescue and helping to save us from “bad policy”. He also said that states are spending more money on Medicaid than on education and that an education is more likely to get someone out of poverty than healthcare. Peterson countered by claiming that if the child is sick they won’t be able to benefit from an education.

Senator Peterson is right, however, in Louisiana, even if they get an education it might include from state dollars that are spent teaching people that the Loch Ness Monster is proof against evolution. I find it hard to believe that such an education would help anyone escape poverty. There are also many issues with the government vouchers that Louisiana is implementing that I have some huge problems with. But that is beyond the scope of this post. But one thing that Bobby Jindal has some experience doing is cutting services to people on Medicaid. So nobody should be surprised that Bobby Jindal would refuse expanding medical service to people who need them. Steve Spires added that there is an economic benefit to Louisiana for accepting these funds. It would not only lift the burden on some state plans that are only funded by state tax dollars before the expansion of coverage, but it would also help reimburse some doctors who provide treatment without compensation.

I kinda felt sorry for Mr. Spires on the show. You had two politicians and a guy with a lot of facts and figures who kept getting drowned out by the rhetoric. I wish he could have been allowed to speak more about the actual numbers.

The thing I found amazing about the show was Bill Cassidy complaining that the prohibition of insurance companies denying children coverage because of preexisting conditions was causing a death spiral in the market and causing insurance companies to no longer provide coverage for single children. What he doesn’t mention is that the fix to that is the mandate. Once they are required to have coverage, people cannot just wait until they are sick to buy insurance. They are required to either have it or pay the penalty to the IRS. Unfortunately, Congressman Cassidy did not go into detail of anti-selection and why mandates prevent it. Fortunately, Mr Spires jumped right on it and explained why the mandate solves the problem of the death spiral.

Mr. Spires then added that the state based exchanges would help bring prices down in the individual market  and make it more affordable. Unfortunately, Governor Jindal is refusing to implement those as well.

It was a good watch for anyone who wants a little more information about how this law impacts the citizens of Louisiana in a positive way and how Governor Jindal’s actions may very well hurt the citizens of Louisiana. I just wish Mr. Spires would have been given more time.

4 thoughts on “Louisiana and Healthcare Reform

  1. please learn the difference between the distinctive terms of Tax, Fee and Fine.

    please learn that nothing is free.. it is paid for by someone.. usually by the producers of America to the non-producers; the “affordable” healthcare act is perceived
    affordable cause it spreads money from the producers to the non-producers.

    i will have more… much more to say on this.. stay tuned…….

  2. I recall Chief Justice Roberts saying that labels don’t really matter in his ruling. I will point out that there are other penalties that are allowed via the power to tax. Nobody calls them a tax.

    One of the reasons the act makes insurance more affordable because people get to buy insurance via the exchanges thus providing individuals the bargaining power that a group would. You also have the restriction of medical loss ratios requiring them to be either at 80% or 85% depending on the product.

    You talk about non-producers. Well, those people already have Medicaid. This law helps people who produce to get insurance to when they normally could not. It helps people who do produce to get medical treatment so they do not miss as much work because they are sick.

  3. my problem with the whole damn thing is that is is a fine (not a tax) for doing nothing more than being alive. if you can’t see what this means, let me help. everyone needs food, so a new law could be that everyone shall be forced (via threats, force and coercion) to purchase their own food of pay a fine. i contend that a person should be allowed the freedom to starve himself to death unmolested by the US government.

    your assumptions that the bill will make healthcare more affordable is simply that.. and assumption. Massachusetts has had this form of healthcare and has their costs gone down? many countries in Europe have made the move towards universal health care and has that led to higher quality healthcare?

    finally, let me say that i don’t feel health care is a priority for Americans. they spend outrageous sums on cell phones, cars, tvs and cable plans. that speaks volumes to me about where their priorities lie. they could easily use that money for catastrophic coverage (insurance) while they are younger, but they don’t. so i don’t feel they think its very important and doubt seriously they deserve it.

  4. It is not just being alive. There are people who willingly gamble that they wont get sick and the overall cost when they do get sick the cost goes to the rest of us who do pay. That is not freedom. That is freeloading.

    I am basing my costs estimates from the long term estimates from the CBO (and not just the short term ones parroted by many GOP pundits.

    Health insurance is one of those things that, unfortunately, many people do not think about until it is too late. Perhaps this will cause some people to reconsider that faulty logic.

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