An interesting e-mail went out from Sen. Mary Landrieu to her supporters over the weekend…
As we mark the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Louisianians of all ages are benefitting from this historic law. Two years ago, the private insurance market was broken and unsustainable, and middle class families were losing coverage at an alarming rate. Something had to be done, and Congress acted.
In the state of Massachusetts, where the framework of this law has been in place for six years, more than 98 percent of the state’s residents are now insured, and the child insurance rate leads the nation at 99.8 percent coverage. From 2006 to 2009, premiums in the individual health insurance market rose by 14 percent nationally, but they fell by 40 percent in Massachusetts over the same period.
Despite the clear and convincing benefits of health reform, there is still a great deal of misinformation and political rhetoric surrounding the issue. However, as time goes on, the benefits of this law will become clearer and clearer, and the dangers of repeal will become even more apparent. Continue reading below for more statistics on how this law is benefitting Louisianians.
Landrieu then goes on to make a bunch of claims about how Obamacare is helping folks in Louisiana…
How the Affordable Care Act is helping Louisiana
- 52,932 Louisiana seniors on Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs when they fell into the donut hole last year.
- Louisiana seniors saved an average of $571 per person, for a total savings of more than $30 million across the state. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
- Insurance companies can no longer charge women higher premiums based on only their gender.
- More than 275,000 Louisiana women can now also receive free mammograms, bone density scans and cervical cancer screenings without a co-pay.
- 45,000 Louisiana young adults have gained health coverage now that children may remain on their parents’ coverage until they turn 26.
- No child in Louisiana today can be denied coverage due to arbitrary lifetime dollar limits. To date, 385,000 Louisiana children have benefitted from this provision.
- 60,000 small businesses in Louisiana are eligible for tax credits to make employee coverage more affordable.
Without getting into an analysis of those claims – some of which look awfully spurious and some of which is probably true but doesn’t exactly tell the whole story – politically, this might not be a great idea and it’s not likely Landrieu would run on this e-mail in two years.
Democrats generally like Obamacare – they’d better, because it’s the signature achievement of the president they put in office. And Landrieu’s supporters, we can assume, generally like Obamacare – if they didn’t it would be explicitly bad politics for her to talk about it.
But non-Landrieu supporters, particularly in Louisiana, can’t stand Obamacare. And non-Landrieu supporters, and even some Landrieu supporters from 2002 or 2008 who aren’t committed to her for 2014, not only can’t stand Obamacare, they can’t stand the fact that she gave it her vote after holding out for the Louisiana Purchase. It smacked of dishonesty and corruption on top of bad policy to those people.
And Landrieu’s phones starting ringing off the hook with those folks who were incensed by the Louisiana Purchase. So much so that her staff decided not to bother answering them, which led to James O’Keefe planning a stunt video of seeing whether that phone system in her New Orleans office was broken, and that led to federal marshalls and a real donnybrook.
It would seem, if you’re Mary Landrieu, that you’d want to downplay Obamacare – after all, they’re in oral arguments over the constitutionality of it at the Supreme Court today, and if the Court strikes it down then Mary Landrieu will have sold her vote to support an unconstitutional law.
And that wouldn’t be a good idea for her to run on.
Landrieu probably doesn’t consider herself as running for re-election just yet. She might want to re-think that, though, because as the last Democrat in statewide office in Louisiana, she should recognize how precarious her position actually is.
And continuing to back a government takeover of health care that the majority of Louisianans have thought was a bad idea from the get-go doesn’t improve that position at all.