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Cassidy's option not as good as other tactics

The question posed by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy’s latest effort is whether those wishing to have sanity return to American health care insurance can use this as a bridge to get there or if letting the stench worsen has a better chance of succeeding in that.

Cassidy and three co-sponsors rolled out legislation yesterday to make substantive changes to health care policy, to mixed reviews from his fellow Republicans and conservatives and predictably partisan caterwauling from Democrats and the political left. It will act as an amendment to a budgetary bill and must pass within the next two weeks, but only after vetting from the Congressional Budget Office to ensure it does not raise significantly the national debt.

For that reason, it has slim chances of passing. The compressed time frame leaves little opportunity for analysis and to gather support. At present, a majority of Republicans would vote for it, but all but two would have to commit. Cassidy and his co-sponsors argue that not only does this represent the last chance to alter substantially the failing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) for at least a year, but also allege that without it a “single-payer” system become probable – a ruinous government-run health care system that promises worse care for at least a trillion dollars a year more.


LA Catholic leaders confuse faithful on politics

Louisiana Catholic Church leaders sometimes make it more difficult for the faithful to align their political views to their spiritual beliefs.

This year, a number of actions taken by politicians have invited Catholics to examine how their faith should translate into the political world. The interrogation a week ago by a pair of Senate Democrats – one nominally Catholic – about a Catholic judicial nominee’s faith as it relates to abortion jurisprudence underscores this.

On this matter, some individuals representing the Church cause confusion rather than clarity. It sometimes comes in the form of publicly-rendered judgments such as with reactions to some executive orders issued by Pres. Donald Trump.


Sportcaster tries hand as social justice warrior

Injecting a full dose of ignorance into the debate over a Shreveport basketball arena, Fox Sports announcer and native Tim Brando recently showed why the world doesn’t come rushing to figures in the sports world to gather informed political commentary.

Last month, Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler proclaimed that the city would pursue building a facility to house a New Orleans Pelicans minor league team. That would cost the city $30 million, with another $100 million spent by the Alabama firm Corporate Realty to build stores and a hotel around it. Pelican management remains undecided about where to locate the squad.

Opposition immediately surfaced as Shreveport has roughly $750 million in infrastructure needs without funding presently for $300 million, meaning the $30 million would displace other priorities. And the $30 million would depend upon roughly $2 million a year in tax collections from the complex for decades; given Shreveport’s troubled history with supporting professional sports franchises – currently none – and the past instability of what the National Basketball Association at present calls the G-League with 46 different team structures that last a little under five years on average, there is no guarantee the team would stay an extended period of time or generate enough money to repay the bonds.


Shore up flood insurance with individual mandate

As debate over extension of the National Flood Insurance Program rages while tropical disturbances that bring flooding rage, lawmakers should keep cognizant of the larger picture and remember what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Historically, almost annually a significant flood hits somewhere in the U.S. Whether it be from sources as gigantic as the recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that just slammed Texas and Florida or as nondescript as the heavy rains that inundated New Orleans a month earlier, or from the Red River in northwest Louisiana to the other Red River in North Dakota, flooding that breaches habitable structures occurs widely in the country under widely different conditions. Indeed, last year every state had at least one NFIP claim.

Yet the U.S. has a schizophrenic policy to deal with these disasters. Almost a half-century ago, policy-makers hoped establishment of the NFIP would create a stable, self-funded regime to take care of the matter. But that rigid, government-run program takes poorly into account actual risk into its pricing, which as a result has failed to accumulate enough reserves to stave off losses triggered by huge weather events. As such, the program has debt of $25 billion.