Attorney General Jeff Landry has rekindled Louisiana’s fight against Obamacare and is meeting substantial resistance from the establishment left. In recent weeks, Landry became involved in the latest lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, joining a multi-state lawsuit by almost two dozen Republican state attorneys general seeking to declare the 2010 Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act unconstitutional – and if successful, the lawsuit would wipe that law off the federal books. On Monday appeared on CNN to discuss his plans for a more ideal healthcare system for Louisianians.
"I'm not the legislature, I'm the Attorney General making sure that we abide by the rule of law," says Louisiana AG Jeff Landry when pressed on whether there's a plan for people with pre-existing conditions to keep healthcare if a GOP lawsuit to bring down Obamacare is successful pic.twitter.com/t8OiVjwQuN
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 10, 2018
Landry’s plan, which was promptly scrutinized by the CNN interviewer every step of the way, would see a more privately-handled healthcare system for patients, not dissimilar to national Republican health care ideas. Competition between healthcare providers would be encouraged as well, so as to produce efficient and cost-effective service across the market for those in need.
Upon being grilled by CNN on how he would effectively legislate these changes, Landry replied, “I’m not the legislature, I’m the Attorney General making sure that we abide by the rule of law.”
But Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who has expanded the state’s Medicaid program by nearly a half-million enrollees since taking office in January 2016 at a cost of more than $6 billion, inserted his two cents on the matter, taking to twitter to call the Attorney General out for joining the multi-state Obamacare lawsuit…
Without consulting with anyone, @AGJeffLandry committed the state to a lawsuit that could result in 849,000 people in LA with pre-existing conditions to lose their health insurance. He appeared on @CNN today & made clear he has no plan to protect coverage for them. #lagov #lalege https://t.co/dCQZs5bhTJ
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) September 10, 2018
But Landry had his defenders. State Senator Conrad Appel (R-Metairie) had a few choice words for the governor in response to his tweets. Appel’s Facebook contained this response…
“Whoa! Isn’t this the same governor who, without consulting anyone, unilaterally committed us to adding 500,000 people to Medicaid at a state cost of about $1 billion per year, a state cost that grows by about $100 million per year? Isn’t this the same governor who pushed so hard for $1.2 billion in new annual taxes when we only needed around $500 million (in fact real soon we may find that we have a surplus and we needed even less). Yep, he’s the same guy!”
The lawsuit in question is interesting in its own right. Hayride readers will likely remember the famous John Roberts Supreme Court majority opinion in the famous NFIB v. Sebelius decision, in which the individual mandate was recast as a tax in order to find Obamacare constitutional. The key factor to the current lawsuit Landry joined Louisiana to is the recission of the mandate; the suit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleges that if the mandate is gone the entire law must be found unconstitutional. It’s not impossible at all Paxton’s argument might prevail, and the Democrat Party is less than enthused at the prospect this might happen.
Back home in Louisiana, Edwards and the establishment democrats seem to have no interest in Landry’s policy prescriptions for health care in the prospective wake of this lawsuit – the Medicaid experience, complete with its shocking amounts of fraud and rampant inefficiency, would seem to argue for Edwards as a stealthy proponent of socialized medicine through the back door. And naturally, CNN has provided a platform for leftist voices to chastise and berate Jeff Landry’s capitalist solutions, as the responses to the tweeted interview were overwhelmingly anti-Landry.
But Louisiana’s Attorney General is anything but put off by Edwards’ opposition. Since he took office he’s been at odds with the governor, and has won considerably more than he’s lost. This case could well entail more of the same.