×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 9592

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 11:31
Jindal's health plan opponents hypocrisies roar over America Next
Written by 

america-next-jindalYou would have thought that, after months of jawboning and grandstanding and editorializing about how people below the poverty line should receive health insurance in Louisiana paid for by government, when a bill to do this sailed out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee without opposition that these voices would have sung its praises. But that would have meant these same voices were being intellectually honest about desiring government to aid these individuals instead of putting expanding government power first and foremost.

 

Last week, state Sen. Ben Nevers vacated his SB 107, which, as several similar bills introduced in the Legislature this session had sought to do in different ways, had preached for the expansion of Medicaid as by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – commit states to a costly new entitlement that, at best, unlikely would improve outcomes for those families with incomes in the ranges of 25-100 percent of the federal poverty line, who presently don’t have access taxpayer-funded insurance. In its place, he substituted SB 682, built on an entirely different philosophy.

That’s because it mirrors, best it can, the “America Next” (titled the “Freedom and Empowerment”) plan forwarded earlier this year by Gov. Bobby Jindal. SB 682 calls for state study to create a framework this summer that follows the Jindal national plan. It intends to provide through tax breaks and premium support no-cost insurance to those in the 25-50 percent FPL range, to those above that range cost-sharing and copays only, also including Medicare recipients with cost-sharing and premium assistance, and would enact measures to lower the cost of health care provision, leading to lower rates, such as by establishing portability among states, tort reform, and pooling. Combining this with greater discretion in using federal funds, such as by using them to pay premiums for private insurance for qualifiers as along the lines of the current Bayou Health program (but for a different population) that already saves the state money over the fee-for-service model on which previous attempts at Medicaid expansion were based, extra state expenditures would not be expected.

Of course, because some of this depends upon federal government action, principally in allowing for portability (requiring a legal change) and in granting block grant authority (which probably cannot be done by waiver but also may need Congress to act), any such review by DHH probably would come back admitting such a plan could not be implemented until this happened. Unless Pres. Barack Obama undergoes and extraordinary ideological transformation and he decides to graduate from illegal waiving of laws to actually promulgating them on his own, this won’t happen anytime soon.

Still, the fact remains that with cooperation this is a workable plan that anyone who cares about providing health insurance to the indigent not now covered can lobby for, if not push into law. Yet those who had been so vocal about the one-expensive-size-fits-all-badly version, instead of praising lawmakers – including all but Nevers himself – suddenly went almost entirely silent. For example, not one tweet came from the Democrats’ official Twitter account where just days and weeks before dozens championing the less effective measure flew around, including from party chief state Sen. Karen Peterson or from its only declared 2015 gubernatorial candidate state Rep. John Bel Edwards.

Nor did the media cover this bill, aside from just a couple of television stations and just one daily newspaper. The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which no fewer than seven times last year editorially called for the less effective version’s implementation and again this year, ran neither a news story nor editorial, supportive or otherwise, on the matter. Only the Baton Rouge/New Orleans Advocate bothered to run a news story on it, and editorially its ever-reliable stenographer for the left Stephanie Grace chose to regurgitate some talking points that the trendily progressive Louisiana Budget Project passed out on the national version of Jindal’s plan, which she summarized by writing it probably wouldn’t expand coverage to the low income.

Naturally, she didn’t bother to check the LBP’s disingenuous effort, which set up a straw man for criticism of the state version as it did not reflect the content of the bill but guesswork on the national version. While it did this prior to the bill’s introduction, thereby providing a partial excuse for its treatment, days after the bill’s text became public as this column went to press no LBP correction or revision about the plan has come through, so as far as its analysis goes applied to SB 682, garbage in, garbage out.

And that’s the sum total, Nevers obviously excluded, of the response of these presumed cheerleaders of expanding health insurance to many of the poor and of the mouthpieces for their views – almost total indifference, with the remainder offering up tepid deferrals. Which leads to wondering about just how genuine their commitment is to provision of health insurance to this segment of the population, and whether they have a greater commitment to expanding government’s and their cadre’s power at the expense of disempowering people.

Listen to the deafening silence on supporting this bill from so many of those who like to present themselves as all-concerned about the welfare of citizens with few resources. That’s the roar of their sanctimonious hypocrisy you hear.

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Website: jeffsadow.blogspot.com/
Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More

latter-blum2

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1