REPOST: Meeting Between Restaurateurs, Landrieu Refuels Obamacare Controversy

The following post originally appeared on The Hayride on April 23 of this year. We’re reposting it in light of the news that McDonald’s is dropping the health care plans for some 30,000 employees unless coverage rules in Obamacare are waived

An e-mail circulating throughout Louisiana like wildfire this week has exposed what appears to have been a highly-charged meeting between Sen. Mary Landrieu and some 20 restaurateurs from around Louisiana who visited Washington last week to meet with the state’s Congressional delegation.

The e-mail, written by Greg Hamer, the owner of B.G. Food Enterprises, a franchisee of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, reads as follows:

It matters not if you are liberal or conservative…We all had better start to pay attention to this lesson…..

I was in Washington DC yesterday. With 20 other restaurateurs we visited with the Louisiana congressional delegation. We had an enlightening talk with United States Senator Mary Landrieu, if you’re interested in what a member of the Democratic leadership of the Senate had to say to her constituents, then read on.

Talking directly to me because of a question I asked her, concerning the fact that we will be forced to shrink our workforce and lay off several hundred employees if Obamacare takes effect she put me in my place. She said the following:

  • We are paying for your employees health insurance now, if you cannot stay in business and pay for them, then we will just continue to pay for them after you are out of business. I think she really believes she is paying for it…she forgets that we…you and I are paying for it.
  • We believe people need insurance more than jobs. I seriously doubt the folks I will have to terminate will agree with that, especially since I pointed out to her that many employees in hospitality are otherwise unemployable since they are unskilled and their alternative is welfare.
  • The law does not differentiate between companies in industries with single digit profit margins like hospitality and industries with much higher profit margins…you have to learn to deal with it.
  • If you don’t like the bills we are passing then elect others.
  • The bill is law, I do not want to discuss it, deal with it.

As God be my witness that is what she told us…of course I am not quoting her, we were all in too much shock to remember her exact words. But this is from a Senator with 5 more years in office, and the arrogance was unbelievable.

Everyone is for Health Reform, but if the cost is putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, surely we can find a better way.

Everyone is for helping our environment, but if the cost is putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, surely we can find a better way.

If you believe the cost being forced on businesses by our current regime in power is not going to be passed on to the consumers—and that is you and I— then you need to stop and take another look.

When government action causes the things I buy to go up, they may not call it increasing taxes…but the effect is just the same.

I hope you will find the item below informative…because you had better believe that is where the Democratic Party is trying to take us. And if you believe as I believe that what they are doing is going against what America stands for, then you have one final chance to stop this madness and it comes in November. Go out and vote for a Conservative so they can first STOP the madness and then begin to curb it.

The e-mail’s circulation has caused quite a bit of a stir; the Dead Pelican featured it this morning and since then it has generated a lot of heat among some of the conservative blogs. Pat Austin of And So It Goes In Shreveport‘s update on the subject is entitled “Senator Mary Landrieu Could Give Obama Lessons in Arrogance,” for example.

Landrieu, as one might imagine, doesn’t recall the meeting the same way. In a letter she wrote to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, she claims Hamer’s e-mail “grossly mischaracterizes” her discussion with the Louisiana Restaurant Association delegation of last week.

But much of Landrieu’s letter does indicate that many of the same topics Hamer says were discussed in that meeting do bear out. She notes that “I specifically stated to the group last week that the healthcare reform bill is now law, and while some politicians may try to repeal it, I doubt they will be successful.” She told the group she thinks that once people start to recognize what a wonderful benefit Obamacare is, repeal efforts will become “irrelevant.”

Landrieu also said that a study showed 68 percent of Louisiana small businesses don’t provide insurance for their employees because of the cost, which even in the most polite articulation could have been interpreted by Hamer to the effect that the government is paying for those employees’ health insurance now.

Landrieu’s letter to the Louisiana Restaurant Association



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