Both of Louisiana's U.S. Senators have voted in favor of debate on a healthcare bill. Senior Senator Bill Cassidy has authored amendments to the GOP replacement bill, but they haven’t gained much support.
UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Cassidy’s proposals run against the most conservative elements in the Republican Party.
“Cassidy has been over on the more moderate, let’s fix things, let’s make things better but that can’t get much traction in the Senate now either.”
Senator John Kennedy has proudly stated he will vote to repeal Obamacare even without a replacement. Cross says this is what got Kennedy elected to the position.
“Ran very much as an opponent to Obamacare, going to rip it out root and branch so the pressure on them to follow through now that they finally have the majority in the House and Senate is really extraordinary.”
The Edwards administration has raised concerns about repealing the current federal healthcare law. They say over 400,000 Louisiana residents are insured because of the expansion of Medicaid. Cross says Cassidy, who has worked as a doctor in the state’s charity hospital system, understands the risks of taking away health insurance to thousands.
“He’s the one who is most amenable to fixing Obamacare. He’s the one who is very concerned about the expansion of Medicaid folks but he’s also getting it from the other side, so he’s really under the gun.”