Exclusive–Jeff Landry: Louisiana Healthcare Bill ‘Path Forward’ for GOP on Obamacare Repeal

Attorney General Jeff Landry
Louisiana Dept. of Justice

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that his legislation can serve as the “path forward” for Republicans to offer a credible and viable alternative to Obamacare while protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Louisiana remains poised to enact a sweeping Obamacare replacement proposal, known as the Health Care Coverage for Louisiana Families Protection Act, which would allow the state insurance commission to open the health insurance market to anyone not covered by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Companies could then compete on the state exchange to offer health insurance. The legislation passed with veto-proof majorities through state chambers of the Louisiana legislature, putting significant pressure on Democrat Gov. Jon Bel Edwards to sign the bill.

Landry said that his legislation could serve as a “path forward” for the Republican Party to have a credible alternative to Obamacare and Medicare for All.

“This is a path forward; this gives you an opportunity, a solution to go out and encourage Republican states to move in this direction,” Landry said.

“There was always solutions that were rooted in free-market principles,” Landry added.

Landry’s legislation arises as President Donald Trump has promised that the Republican Party will become the party of health care.

Louisiana would enact Landry’s legislation if the Supreme Court were to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), of which Landry serves as one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, contending that since Congress eliminated the ACA’s individual mandate, the rest of the law must go.

Landry’s health insurance legislation would also protect Americans with pre-existing conditions through a “guaranteed benefits pool,” which would protect Americans in a more light-touch fashion compared to many of the onerous Obamacare regulations which raise health insurance premiums and deductibles.

Brent Littlefield, a Republican consultant who worked with Landry on the legislation, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that the guaranteed benefits pool allows for high-risk patients to obtain health insurance without the more onerous Obamacare regulations while treating them like every other American.

“They don’t have to negotiate government bureaucracy, they can use the original plan they purchased, they keep the same rate because they’re in the guaranteed benefits pool.,” Littlefield said. 

“[It] allows everyone to be treated the same, no discrimination based upon pre-existing conditions, or any other category,” Littlefield added. 

Attorney General Landry told Breitbart that he believed that if Republicans had addressed the problem of pre-existing conditions back during the George W. Bush administration, there would have never been any appetite for Obamacare. 

“If Republicans had disposed of this issue and tackled it in the early part of the 2000s, when we had control of Congress and the White House, the American people would not have had not endured the train wreck of Obamacare,” Landry explained.

Landry said, unlike the “unconstitutional” Obamacare, his legislation can cover pre-existing conditions in a manner that passes constitutional muster.

“In Louisiana, people care about people with pre-existing conditions, they put their money where their mouth is in a fashion that is much better than the current unconstitutional democratic offer,” the Louisiana attorney general said. 

Maine enacted a similar guaranteed benefits pool in 2012 and 2013, before Obamacare became law, and Maine’s government insurance officers contended that the guaranteed benefits pool prevented insurance premiums from rising by at least 20 percent. 

Further, Landry contended that the legislation would allow for increased tailoring of health insurance to every individual as well as more choice for Louisianans. The Louisiana Republican also sniped at Obamacare for offering so few health insurance options to the American people.

Landry said, “We will also be able to go back to tailoring insurance plans based upon a person’s lifestyle and what they believe. They will have more menu options. The more people that buy health insurance and go into the marketplace irrespective of the market they go into lowers premiums as a whole. It’s a tide that raises all boats.”

“This bill puts us a step closer to a bigger menu, more choices, and allowing people an opportunity to come and fulfill that need,” the Louisiana conservative added.

Landry asked rhetorically, “How many restaurants are successful when they only have one thing on the menu?”

Attorney General Landry said that President Trump should consider this legislation as the Republican “answer” for what Republicans should offer as an Obamacare and Medicare for All alternative.

“Yes, I would be the student in the classroom, saying, ‘Hey, Mr. President, look at the answer that Republicans have here in Louisiana, it would you and Congress the opportunity to partner with the states, working inside the current constitutional scheme of our governmental scheme, where our states are sovereign,'” Landry said.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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