What Donald Trump and Gov. John Bel Edwards inherited from their predecessors

By Robert Mann

Obamacare’s fate is now a crisis for Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. It’s delicious irony that, after railing against and vowing to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the care and feeding of a program so loathed by Republicans now belongs to our new president and the GOP Congress — and they don’t know what to do with it.

More than a month after Trump took office vowing to repeal and replace Obamacare, he and Congress are no closer to agreeing upon on a replacement. That’s sparked panic among smarter Republicans, who now realize that some of the energy they put into holding more than 60 House votes to kill the law might have been better spent on developing a viable alternative.

Now, because they know they must not repeal Obamacare without a replacement, Republicans are talking about repairing it (which is what Hillary Clinton and Obama once proposed).

That’s because, with Obama gone, the Affordable Care Act is experiencing a resurgence of popularity. In a Fox News poll last month, only 23 percent of Americans surveyed said they want the law repealed. The same poll showed that 50 percent had a favorable opinion of the law. Other polling has shown a similar rise in popularity.

That’s a dramatic change in fortunes and the reason Trump and congressional Republicans, who now control the executive and legislative branches, fear voters will punish them for whatever calamity follows Obamacare’s repeal.

The problem for Republicans is even if the law remains unchanged, voters will blame them for premium increases and any other future problem with the program. Like it or not, Republicans own Obamacare. How they wriggle out of this mess would be delightful to watch if millions of lives were not at stake.

Here in Louisiana, the political winds shift slowly, but the same dynamic is at work. If you are governor, what was once the other guy’s problem will eventually become yours.

As Gov. John Bel Edwards struggles to fix the obscene budget mess former Gov. Bobby Jindal left him, the public blames Jindal. In a February poll by the University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center, 60 percent of those surveyed said the state’s budget crisis was Jindal’s fault. Only 13 percent blamed Edwards, while 23 percent pointed to legislators. Even 35 percent of Republicans said Jindal was the leading culprit, far more than the 21 percent who blamed Edwards.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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6 Responses to What Donald Trump and Gov. John Bel Edwards inherited from their predecessors

  1. JonTB says:

    Republicans don’t get it. The best thing to do is to fix what needs to be fixed and move forward. That is what I did with my car and it has been running smoothly for 17 years and 180,000 miles, with no car payments and cheaper insurance premiums. If I hadn’t repaired it and sold it to someone else, they would have repaired it and be claiming all the benefits of the cheaper insurance. I would have a new car, car payments, higher insurance premiums and still be needing to repair it.

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  2. Stephen Winham says:

    As noted, JBE’s central problem is the budget he inherited and with which he should have been quite familiar before his election What was going on was certainly no secret to anybody. Fixing it would put on on the path to solving our other problems. Not fixing it dooms us to continuing failure.

    Louisiana’s governor has more control over the budget than governors in some other states – In Florida, for example, the legislature pretty much dumps the governor’s executive budget recommendation into the trashcan, publishes their own, and starts and finishes from there. Though more powerful, our governor can recommend things all day every day and half the night but he cannot actually pass laws – only the legislature has that power, and the budget is a law.

    Consistent with our laws the governor should present a realistic budget proposal to the legislature for its consideration and use as a starting point for actual enactment of the budget. Jindal did not present realistic, honest budgets and the legislature did not come up with its own plans. The same has been essentially true in the Edwards administration. So far Gov. Edwards has not presented a plan he was willing to stand firmly behind. He may have presented more honest budgets than Jindal, but he has never presented a budget that even he was willing to fully support and defend. Left to flounder around, the legislature has come up with nothing either. The blame lies with both.

    Trump has invented and defined the “mess” he claims to have inherited and is trying to sell it to the world so he can claim he is solving it – a different situation entirely, though not without parallels in positive potential.

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  3. Rita Kranson Willilams says:

    Louisiana’s legislators need to look CLOSELY at what’s happening at the Federal Level. NOTICE all the cuts in federal spending and all the rhetoric from Louisiana’s Republican SENATORS (in particular) and MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, too. That being “we believe that it is the STATE’S and LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S responsibility to fund and make policies for education, the environment–read that coastal erosion & protection, and healthcare. YES, those federal government majority attitudes are IDENTICAL to JINDALS’ that got us in the fiscal crisis we are in. Remember, Jindal refused Medicare funds, he refused other federal funds saying it is the state’s responsibility to make those policy decisions. If you think it’s bad now, wait until the result of having school vouchers and doing away with all the programs such as school lunch and breakfast programs, Title programs, Special services programs and the like. It’s not just the rules that are being eliminated (most of which the state’s passed the buck to the Federal government on because they didn’t have the money for them). It’s the FUNDING! The federal laws preventing dumping toxic waste and things like coal into our rivers have already been appealed. Who’s going to pay for what’s going to head down the Mississippi to US? No funds for protection of the environment. What’s the Sportsmen’s Paradise gonna do about that? No regulations for drilling–anyone ready for another Deepwater Horizon Spill–with NO FEDERAL funding? How about next time a Hurricane comes our way? Remember, the federal government now expects you to take care of it through LOCAL and STATE funding–and our Republican majority has promised there will be NO NEW taxes! Talking about LA LA Land! Welcome to it, Louisiana voters. You can blame it on the Governor–but you need to look at the Republican majority legislature you think is for the little man and at the Federal “representatives” at ALL levels you sent to “clean the swamps.”

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