Crawfish, Dead Plants and Mary: The Season of Health Care

By Louis Avallone

I’m not sure if you have heard, but crawfish is so scarce this year that they are double in price, compared to this time last year. After all, crawfish farmers in southern Louisiana have had to endure twice the number of freezes this year, four wintry precipitation events, and one of the coldest months ever in January. During cold weather, crawfish tend to stay at the bottom of their ponds or streams, under dead plants, rather than swimming out and about, and eating and growing.

Well, crawfish are not the only ones having a difficult time this year. 32,864 Louisianans have signed up for Obamacare, while nearly three times as many Louisianans – 92,739 – have received cancellation notices, not to mention the expected loss of over 35,000 jobs in Louisiana this year due to Obamacare’s implementation. Health care premiums for healthy Louisiana women are expected to increase by an average of 266 percent this year, making it harder for women to make their own health care choices. And to add insult to injury, health care costs continue to rise for everyone. Now comes news that Louisiana insurers, including the largest – Blue Cross – is not insuring all pre-existing conditions, even though that is a central tenet of the Obamacare law.

Meanwhile, Mary Landrieu is hoping that her record – like Louisiana crawfish during cold weather – will remain out of sight, and covered up by dead plants at the bottoms of Louisiana’s many ponds and streams. After all, it was Landrieu who went to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2009 in support of Obamacare and claimed that, “I am voting for this bill because it achieves the goals I laid out at the beginning of this debate: It drives down costs and expands affordable health care choices for millions of families and small businesses in Louisiana …” But in reality, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Out of the allegedly tens of millions of uninsured Americans that were supposedly dying in the streets, according to the Democrats in 2009, because there was no government subsidized health care, only a fraction of Americans (six million) have actually “signed up” for health insurance through the government’s website. It is estimated that just as many Americans have also had their policies canceled.

Nonetheless, the White House is celebrating right now, despite the fact that they have no idea how many of those who “signed up” were already insured, or how many are simply replacing coverage because their previous insurer cancelled their policy due to Obamacare. And we don’t really know what “signed up” really means either. HHS officials say they have no idea how many folks who “signed up” have actually paid their premiums, thereby activating coverage. Really, they don’t know this? It is estimated, though, that as much as 20 percent of folks “signed up” have not paid any premiums at all, which means they will soon have their policies canceled, as well.

Furthermore, for those six million already “signed up,” we don’t know how many were just comparison shopping online, and only added a plan to their virtual shopping cart to see what the cost would be. As crazy as it sounds, we know that the White House has counted folks as having “signed up” if they just made it to the last screen of the online purchase process. That’s like giving me credit for going to exercise at the gym just because I showed up and took a look around.

But that’s typical liberal thinking: Focus on the intentions, don’t worry about the facts.

Unfortunately, the facts speak more loudly here. It was Landrieu who told Louisianans in 2009 that if you liked your plan you could keep your plan. It was Landrieu who said she wouldn’t support a health care bill that had a small business mandate, even going as far as saying, on the floor of the Senate, that “the bill also has no employer mandate.”

It was Landrieu who incredulously claimed, just this past December, that this “law is working well” and that anyone who said otherwise is part of the “intentional” misinformation campaign. But Louisianans see the handwriting on the wall. They understand the Congressional Budget Office has forecasted that the same number of Americans will be uninsured in 2016 with Obamacare as would have been uninsured without Obamacare, and that the Democrats in Washington have taken Landrieu, and all of Louisiana, for a joy ride through a little town called, “Ridiculous,” just outside of “Insanity City,” on their way to “Doesn’t Make Sense.”

This leaves little doubt why Democrat party registration has dropped to 46 percent in Louisiana, which is a new low, and that Landrieu is the only Democrat left in statewide office. It’s why President Obama lost Louisiana by 18 percentage points in the 2012 election, and why it is even more incredulous Landrieu still voted 97 percent of the time with Obama last year.

So as this election year progresses, and as more and more Louisianans learn the facts, let’s make sure that the crawfish won’t be the only ones getting out and about, and growing. If we don’t, we’ll all soon be paying double for a lot more than just crawfish.

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