While “the chicken hawks are coming home to roost” boasts the qualities of being slightly original and clever as a lead for this post, it’s not quite as directly descriptive as “when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas." And for a group comprised almost entirely of Louisiana House Republicans, they’re starting to do a lot of scratching.
After the online publication and leftist-funded New Orleans Lens ran a piece implying growing harmony between them and the liberal House Democrats, some of the principals of the group of Republicans known as the “fiscal hawks” tried to distance themselves from the characterization. In all fairness, the intersession meetings held that had representation of Democrat leaders have happened in years past and only now seem to draw attention because during the past legislative session it was a combination of Democrats and “hawks” that prompted significant changes to the original budget for this year backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, other House Republicans, and Senate Republicans.
But, to continue this post’s abnormal reliance on cliché/aphorism “actions speak louder than words.” The fact is, the reason why these meetings involving “hawk” leaders caught the attention of a Soros cyber-reporter and become newsworthy this year is because of the “hawks’” embrace by deeds during the session of the left’s legislative agenda.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:25
As if anyone needed more confirmation of the intellectual poverty and real agenda of the political left in America today, witness the Democrat Pres. Barack Obama-controlled Department of Justice’s asinine request that federal courts review any placements of students under Louisiana’s scholarship voucher program.
DOJ has asked that courts that have any jurisdiction over desegregation orders concerning Louisiana school districts to have the power to approve or deny actions regarding the state’s voucher program. This program allows for students from low-income families attending average to failing schools, with preference given to students attending failing schools, to have the state pay tuition up to a certain amount for them to attend other, mainly private, schools at their request contingent on availability of slots. Such underperforming schools exist in at least 22 of the 34 districts under these orders, where the federal government wants courts to be able to halt families’ access to voucher use if this would have the effect of increasing the proportion of the majority race at that school.
Understanding the stupidity of this policy begins at the very reason why courts intervened in these instances: because there had been a history of racial discrimination in them, as evidenced by the presence of nearly or entirely all-white or all-black schools in them with rules specifically creating this. That is, policy-makers made a conscious decision to create these mono-racial schools because they intended to put black children into inferior schools, that even if these schools were not inferior inherently this discriminated, and that the presence of such schools in such districts today presumes, without exculpatory evidence, that this intentional discrimination continues. These practices are considered odious because they shortchange black children’s educational opportunities, and therefore life prospects.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 09:45
Being that Republican Senate candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy actually has practiced medicine for a quarter century or so with a high volume of Medicaid patients, as compared to his opponent Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu who has been in elected office almost from the day she graduated college, it’s not surprising that during his short stint in the Louisiana Legislature he authored a pair bills dealing with health care provision. But to make any attempt to equate those two to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) that he now campaigns against demonstrates a distinct lack of understanding both about the many flaws of Obamacare and therefore why Cassidy opposes it.
In 2007, Cassidy introduced SB 307, which would have created a health care exchange run by the state, designed for participating entities to buy and sell health insurance. Its operation would be funded through own revenues (presumably a fee attached to policies sold this way) and primarily was aimed at Medicaid recipients; in those days, the state operated Medicaid as a fee-for-service arrangement where providers performed whatever actual and presumed needed services in any way they wanted then billed the state, no questions asked.
In 2008, he introduced SB 535, which would have changed from optional to a requirement that employers of fewer than 50 offer specified mental health insurance benefits, and would add on more if and when the state offered a tax credit equal to the premium increase, if an employer offered health insurance. Neither bill was passed into law.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 10:50
The first and most politically popular and therefore easy policy Gov. Bobby Jindal pursued upon taking office was ethics reform designed in part to increase transparency in state government. That was over five years ago, but that spirit needs to live on to induce accountability into some hidebound local governments.
After the hurricane disasters in 2005, in 2006 the state passed legislation setting up a lending program for local governments to borrow money to service debt during the presumed difficult period of recovery. It’s kind of like taking out credit card debt to pay off an existing mortgage – except the terms were far more generous: state general obligation backing to get a low interest rate, delayed payments, and a two-for-one deal in that the federal government coughed up for nothing $200 million that the state would match.
But unlike the relationship between issuer and cardholder, some local governments now want forgiveness of their debts, despite the generosity of the terms and that they had years (five, or three more than the minimum in the legislation with payback therefore beginning in 2012) to prepare for this. Even though legislation has appeared (such as this past session) to forgive it, the Constitution prohibits state donation of assets not surplus property.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:35
It makes more sense to fix an inefficient system than to take on a new entitlement, which is why Louisiana’s decision to join three-quarters of the states in opting out of participation in a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act spinoff program makes absolute sense.
The state recently signaled that it would not pursue participation in the Community First Choice option. This would mandate that the state through Medicaid provide home- and community-based health care services to individuals whose household income is 150 percent of the federal poverty limit. These services would have to be provided regardless of whether without their provision an individual would be at risk to require institutional care such as in a nursing home, and also are possible if that risk is present and income is above that level.
Currently, a household may receive Medicaid services in Louisiana if generally having an income at 25 percent of the FPL and having any of several other qualifications such as the household having children, the elderly, or developmentally disabled individuals. The FPL limits may be substantially higher for qualification depending upon theses statuses. The CFC option makes new services more widely available principally for the elderly because for most instances of disability there are other (Section 1915c) waiver programs that already cover individuals’ needs, at FPL levels usually much higher than the typical.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 12:10