The four-term ex-governor, Edwards, who is running for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District in a conservative part of the state, will face questions probing controversial national issues as Landrieu seeks her own fourth term as a US Senator.
One of those touchy issues was raised on Wednesday night at the Loyola Institute of Politics annual Ed Renwick series.
Shortly after the panel of Edwards, former Governor Buddy Roemer and former Governor Kathleen Blanco responded to the question related to responding to the question whether a Democrat could win a statewide election in Louisiana, and after Edwards answered why he was running at age 86, the topic became Obamacare.
Perhaps no issue has hurt the Louisiana Democratic Party over the past five and a half years since Obama took office than the Affordable Care Act.
The Republican Party has raised the issue as a sword against Landrieu, especially over the controversial question—whether insured’s can keep their doctors and their own policies.
The conservative Koch brothers have spent millions in Louisiana alone slamming Landrieu over her support for Obamacare and has led the republican attack that this assertion was the “Biggest Lie of the Year”.
At the Loyola event, Edwards, who spent almost ten years under federal sentencing, including prison, when asked about Obamacare, magnified the seriousness of the controversy by stating,
“that “People who like their insurance coverage can keep it” is the big lie of the decade (my emphasis). That is clearly wrong because people should be allowed to have that choice.
Ever since the revelation that millions of people were losing their insurance coverages, Landrieu has defended herself, has offered legislation to remedy the problem and has stayed her distance from Obama and healthcare.
Landrieu did not appear with Obama during his last visit to Louisiana. She also did not appear publically when Health and Human Resources Secretary Kathleen Sibelius recently made her own entry into the state to beat the healthcare law drums.
Arguably, not everything Edwards said would harm Landrieu in her own campaign. He also defended the law by praising its prohibition of pre-existing coverage denials and its portability of coverage that would allow insureds to be more mobile with their careers and not dependent upon employers’ insurances.
Edwards said, “Well, I'm against some of it. Some of it didn't lead to the consequences they were supposed to lead to. But - who could say that they don't support that people with preexisting conditions can now get insurance where they couldn't before? Or that now, if you work for somebody, you can get another job and take your insurance with you? Earlier, you didn't have the affordability. Thousands of people in this state can now keep their children on their policy until they're 26 years old. Those are all good provisions. On the other hand, a 60 year old woman has to have maternity benefits in her policy. That's ridiculous, and it shouldn't have been there. Obama's problem and the Congress's problem is that “People who like their insurance coverage can keep it” is the big lie of the decade. That is clearly wrong because people should be allowed to have that choice.
Edwards also said he felt Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal should not reject Medicaid expansion, another major component of the law of which the republican governor has opted-out.
Still, by adding nine years to this sore political thumb’s misery, he might have helped himself in the conservative 6th Congressional District, but he stuck a big fat finger in Landrieu’s campaign eye, his fellow and sole-statewide Democrat officeholder, surely did not need.
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