Monday, 21 October 2013 17:11

Meet McAllister, own Obamacare, nudge Jindal--lose the House ?

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Jindal-Meet-the-pressWell, sometimes polls can be wrong.  Also, Louisiana Democrats have a long way to go if they plan to make any headway in Louisiana government and politics anytime soon.  This weekend's 5th Congressional District election proved these claims, loud and clear.


State Sen. Neil Riser, a Republican from Columbia, and Vance McAllister, a Republican businessman from Monroe, will compete against one another up to the Nov. 16 election, as Riser who finished with 33,045 votes — 32 percent and McAllister finished with 18,386 votes — 17.8 percent, made the 5th Congressional race runoff.

You say, McAllister, who? 

McAllister is a political newbie and came in second out of 14 candidates and was rarely mentioned in pre-election poll offerings.  Despite the hopes and the predictions from the Louisiana Democratic Party that a Democratic would be elected for the seat,unless there is a dramatic change,  it again appears that Cedric Richmond will be the only Congressman from that party for the next two years after national elections.

You own it

The National Republican Senatorial Committee continues to pound Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu for her Obamacare support.   While in other states, that strategy might not be as effective, in Louisiana, the republicans want to link her to President Obama, as much as possible. 

There is good history for this approach.  Republican Senator David Vitter ran against Obama and recently beat Democrat Congressman Charlie Melancon by high double digits.

However, according to recent polls, it appears that Landrieu might be extending her lead against her Republican  opposition with one year left to go before the election.

And don't forget, as the 5th congressional district race has just shown, it's not over, until it's over.

Now, here from the the committee:

It wasn't long ago that Democrats swore that they were looking forward to campaigning on ObamaCare in 2014. They swore that they'd own ObamaCare and that it'd be a political strength. Not anymore!

The new game plan for Democrats on the ballot is to pretend that they aren't responsible for the train wreck. Don't take our word for it. "They shouldn’t own responsibility for problems with the law or its implementation,” one Democratic Party operative told Politico. The good news for Republicans? They could only get away with such a laughable strategy if the 60% of voters opposed to ObamaCare in states like Alaska, Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina let them. They can only get away with it if the media lets them.
Just this morning, Kaiser Health News reports, that thousands of consumers are receiving cancellation notices because of ObamaCare - shocking many consumers who believed President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their plans if they liked them. "Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies." CNN reports that others are coping with ObamaCare sticker shock. "Some people trolling for insurance on the exchanges are questioning why Obamacare is called the 'Affordable' Care Act. Many who were uninsured before are feeling forced to buy pricey insurance they don't want. Others who had bare-bones individual plans are seeing the premium prices soar because the Obamacare plans are more comprehensive."
Today President Obama is claiming that he too is frustrated by HIS signature law. He's blaming others for its problems. We expect every Democratic Senator and candidate running for reelection to follow suit. They will express faux frustration just like the President, but the reality is that Mary Landrieu is responsible for this train wreck. Mary Landrieu owns all of theglitches, all of the cost increases, all of the broken promises. ObamaCare is HER mistake. It's HER legacy.

House of Horrors

According to a recent poll from CNN, it's not so good to be a Congressional Republican.  
Says CNN:

Fifty-four percent say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, up 11 points from last December, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll conducted after the end of the 16-day partial government shutdown -- the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.

The poll also found that 63% of Americans think that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced, a view shared by roughly half of all Republicans.

By a 44%-31% margin, people say they have more confidence in President Barack Obama rather than the GOP in Congress to deal with the major issues facing the country today. But 21% say they don't have confidence in either side.

Then, in Louisiana, my best guess would be that the majority of Louisiana voters would consider the Republican House vote to be a badge of honor. 

Daily Numbers

And now, some national numbers from Ron Faucheux of Clarus
(among adults nationwide)
"Do you have more confidence in President Obama or in the Republicans in Congress to deal with the major issues facing the country today?"
Obama 44%
Republicans in Congress 31%
Both (vol.) 2%
Neither (vol.) 21%

(among adults nationwide)
"Do you think it is good for the country or bad for the country that the Republican Party is in control of the U.S. House of Representatives?"
October 2013:
Good for country 38%
Bad for country 54%
December 2012:
Good for country 51%
Bad for country 43%
"If you had to choose, would you rather see John Boehner remain as Speaker of the House, or would you rather see Boehner replaced as Speaker by another Republican?"
Boehner continue as Speaker 30%
Replace Boehner as Speaker 63%

(among likely voters statewide)
Mike Rounds (R) over Rick Weiland (D) +15
Republican primary:
Mike Rounds 46%
Stace Nelson 10%
Larry Rhoden 4%
Annette Bosworth 4%

Presidential job rating average based on the three most recently reported nationwide polls.
* CNN/ORC, Oct. 18-20
** Nielson Brothers, Oct. 2-6
D poll = conducted by organization generally associated with Democrats
R poll = conducted by organization generally associated with Republicans

NOLA knows

The Louisiana Democratic Party is blasting out a recent TP/NOLA editorial which opposes Governor Bobby Jindal's decision to refuse Medicaid money under the Affordable Care Act.  

Think there is any chance that Governor Jindal will reverse this policy?   Probably, as much of a possibility that President Obama will reverse his stance on Obamacare in any dramatic way.  Plus, unless the administration can get its act together with a miserable rendition of a website rollout, don't expect Jindal or any of the Republican governors to back down.

Yet, from recent media reports, those states who created their own exchange system and websites are doing rather well in signing up new insureds to Obamacare

Gov. Jindal should take Medicaid money, put people over politics: Editorial
The Editorial Board, | The Times-Picayune By The Editorial Board, | The Times-Picayune

on October 20, 2013 at 7:22 AM, updated October 21, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Gov. Jindal's refusal to accept almost $16 billion in extra Medicaid money was destined to hurt thousands of low-income Louisiana residents who lack health insurance. That has been clear for months, as study after study - including the state's own -- showed that tens of thousands of people would benefit if Louisiana accepted the Medicaid expansion that is part of President Obama's health care act.
But a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation puts the situation in stark terms: Without the expansion, 242,150 poor Louisiana residents won't have access to the insurance offerings the Affordable Care Act was designed to provide.
That includes 87 percent of the adults in Louisiana -- excluding the elderly -- who live in poverty. They don't qualify for Medicaid now because of the way the program was designed and funded. They earn too little to be able to afford to buy insurance on the new health care exchanges and aren't eligible for the Affordable Care Act's insurance tax credits.
And yet Gov. Jindal continues to reject the federal money that could help make them healthier and ease their financial burdens. He has provided various excuses, but it's hard to believe the rejection is anything but a political calculation.
The governor has long had aspirations to the White House. And although he told reporters Thursday that he hadn't made a decision about running in 2016, the launch of his new nonprofit -- America Next -- is fueling speculation that he might. If so, accepting $15.8 billion from President Obama's health care act probably wouldn't play well with some of his likely supporters.
What a shame if the governor's ambitions were to trump his own people's needs.
Historically, Medicaid eligibility has been restricted to children, their parents, the elderly and individuals who are disabled, Kaiser points out. Other adults weren't eligible in most states, no matter how poor they were. Even for families with young children, only the poorest parents have been covered in Louisiana.
The Affordable Care Act was written to change that and to close gaps in Medicaid by broadening coverage to a greater percentage of low-income residents.
But Gov. Jindal's rejection of the money means those residents are still out of luck in Louisiana.
That is a hard-hearted position. And it is one that other conservative governors have not been able to stick with. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett -- all Republicans who've opposed the Affordable Care Act -- agreed recently to take the Medicaid money. The reason is simple: It's good for the people they serve. Gov. Jindal ought to add his name to that list.
Lawmakers, health advocates and many others -- including our Editorial Board --have pushed for months for him to change his mind about the expansion. Those efforts have yet to succeed.
But the fight goes on, and it should keep going on. In September, two dozen ministers, doctors, nurses and public health advocates traveled by bus from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to call on Gov. Jindal to accept the Medicaid expansion. They carried 7,000 signatures gathered at churches in the New Orleans area.
Comments then by Dr. Don Erwin, the founder and CEO of the St. Thomas Community Health Center, were prophetic: "For those states that don't accept Medicaid expansion, that means the poorest of our people will not be eligible for anything. They won't be eligible for insurance exchanges, they won't be eligible for Medicaid, and they represent right now a real serious problem for our state."
Kaiser's new analysis shows just how serious the problem is.
Gov. Jindal has said he is opposed to the Medicaid expansion because of concerns about costs to the state and not wanting to have so many people on government-provided insurance. Would he really rather they have no insurance?
The state's costs for the expansion are minuscule. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost in the first three years, with the state paying no more than 10 percent after that.
Gov. Jindal's own Department of Health and Hospitals found that the state would save as much as $367.5 million over the first 10 yearsof the expansion. DHH's worst-case scenario is that Louisiana would have to spend as much as $1.71 billion over a decade.
But even $1.71 billion, if that amount proves true, is precious little compared with the benefits of providing almost a quarter of a million Louisianians health coverage.
The letters delivered to the governor by the ministers, doctors and other advocates in September emphasized that point. People are dying in our community because they lack health care, they said. There is no moral reason for Louisiana to refuse billions in federal dollars that could change that, they said.
No moral reason at all. Let Gov. Jindal know that. Call him. Email him. Get your friends and neighbors to do the same.
It's not right to leave all these people stranded when it would be so easy to help them.

Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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