TEA PARTY OF LOUISIANA OPPOSES “BED TAX” AND OBAMACARE MEDICAID EXPANSION

Calls On Louisiana Legislature To Kill The New Tax And

Oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion

For Immediate Release    April 17, 2013

BATON ROUGE - The Tea Party of Louisiana calls on all members to contact your legislator and urge them to oppose the Obamacare Medicaid expansion along with HB 532, the “bed tax.”

Today, the Louisiana Democratic Party and the Louisiana Hospital Association held a conference call where they advocated for legislators to pass a tax on Louisiana hospitals along with urging the state to accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

HB 532, the “bed tax,” is a tax increase which has already been tried once in our state and we cannot allow it to return.  This proposed tax on hospitals will undoubtedly be passed onto consumers, folks who are sick, and small businesses.  Our state’s citizens should not be forced to pay higher taxes.  We should be working on reducing the size of government, not expanding it!

The “bed tax” bill is being sold as a means to expand Medicaid, a massive entitlement program that is causing explosive growth to our state and federal budget.

In addition to arguing for a new tax on hospitals to grow the size of government, the Louisiana Democratic Party continued to call for our state to accept the expansion of Obamacare’s Medicaid program, a proposal which we simply cannot afford.

These are two misguided policy proposals which will do significant damage to our citizens and lead to higher taxes in our state.

Call you legislator and urge them to oppose HB 532, the “bed tax,” along with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Louisiana.

The Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) strives to return our country to the founding principals which made our nation great. The guiding principles of the Tea Party of Louisiana are found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  Our U.S. Constitution was written to "ordain, establish and promote” the “general welfare" and to guarantee "equal protection" for all Americans.

In recent years it has become fashionable to “tailor” our laws to benefit various targeted entities over the general well being of the rest of the citizenry.  Several of the following 2012 proposed Amendments to the Louisiana Constitution seek to implement legislation to promote the “specific” welfare of some, as opposed to the "general" welfare of all.  When we seek to single out one or more targeted individuals or groups to benefit, we diminish the ideal of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection."   These proposals continue to head us down the road which ultimately leads to serfdom. Please consider voting NO to all such proposals which pit one group of taxpayers against another or seek to benefit one group of citizens at the expense of another.

 

Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) Voter Checklist for 9 Constitutional Amendments on November 6, 2012 Ballot for your use and consideration:

 

1. Obstructs Accountability in the Louisiana Medicaid Trust Fund. The "Louisiana Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly" was originally touted to help the "elderly" but was actually established to benefit corporations that own nursing homes and home health agencies. Amendment No. 1 would protect these corporations from state budget cuts.

No. Amendment #1 is nothing more than “crony capitalism” for the nursing home and home-health industry.  The Amendment would impose additional constraints on balancing the state budget and would promote waste and inefficiency for those nursing homes and home-health agencies that receive taxpayer funds from the state.

 

2.  Secures the U.S. Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Our current Louisiana Constitution provides for an individual the "right” to keep and bear arms.

Yes. Amendment No.2 declares that the right to keep and bear arms is a "fundamental" right.  The Amendment would make it more difficult for courts to overturn "pro-gun" and concealed carry laws.

 

3.  Obstructs Necessary Reform in the State's Employee Pension Programs. Many of the members of the Legislature are members of one or more of the state's public employee pension systems.  This Amendment would require more notice and make it more difficult to introduce a bill to reform any of the state's pension retirement systems.

No. Government pension plans are bloated and drastically need reform. Send a message to legislators and vote NO on this proposal.

 

4. Homestead Exemption for Spouses of Deceased Veterans who had 100% disability. In 2010 the La. Constitution was amended to allow city and parish voters to double the homestead exemption from $75,000 to $150,000 for disabled veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability.  Amendment No. 4 would extend the benefit to the surviving spouse of the deceased disabled veteran who occupies the couple's home if the exemption was in effect at the time the disabled veteran died.

Yes. The amendment would provide for equal treatment for all spouses of deceased veterans whether or not the 2010 exemption was in effect at the time the veteran died.

 

5. Allows Courts to include Forfeiture of Public Retirement Benefits as part of the sentence for public servants convicted of a crime associated with their office. Under current law, public servant pension benefits are virtually untouchable.  Amendment #5 would allow a court to include a forfeiture of public retirement benefits as part of the sentence for a person convicted of a felony related to public office.  These forfeited funds would go toward reducing the unfunded liability in the specific retirement system that the convicted felon was a member.  The companion statute to the proposed Amendment affords protections to the innocent spouse of the convicted public servant.

YES. No public servant who is convicted of a crime associated with their office should continue to receive a tax funded pension from the taxpayers whom the public servant betrayed.

 

6.  Unequal Treatment in Property Taxes. The Amendment would allow New Iberia to grant city property tax exemptions to any property owner annexed into the city after Jan 1, 2013.  The bill would allow certain business or other landowners to avoid paying certain property taxes (e.g. fire protection department taxes) while leaving others to pick-up the entire tax bill.  This is a change for one city that will probably lead to others wanting the same power.

No. The Amendment opens the door to more "crony capitalism" and gives the local parishes and towns the ability to grant tax exemptions to their political buddies and contributors.

 

7. Adjusts the Membership Selection Process for Constitutionally created Boards & Commissions based on the state’s new 6 Congressional Districts.

Yes. Technical changes to limit the number of members of certain boards and commissions to the number of congressional districts.

 

8. Expands “crony capitalism” by allowing the state to grant local governments to grant property tax exemptions for certain hand-picked non-manufacturing businesses that they want to locate or expand their operations within certain parishes.

NO. We should not allow politicians to promote “crony capitalism” and pick which business they want to see have an advantage in terms of property taxes while leaving the other taxpayers to pick up the tab.  The Tea  Party of La opposes all proposals which pit one taxpayer against another or seek to benefit one citizen or business at the expense of another.

 

9.  Adds safeguards to protect property owners from additional taxes imposed or increased without an election. To create a crime district (fee or tax) one must petition for an election - or have a legislator submit a Bill.  Crime districts, created by the Legislature, are generally neighborhood groups which can collect a parcel fee -or property tax- from the property owners in a specific area and use the money to enhance crime prevention or security efforts without a vote of the people to approve the tax or fee.

YES. The Legislature should not be imposing additional property taxes on neighborhoods without a vote of the homeowners or property owners.  This Amendment would add another safeguard to help prevent such action.

 

Statewide Vote on Local Option School Board Question-

YES. TPoL is in favor of term limits in general and, also, in the case of school boards.

 

Use of drivers license information addressed in measure OK'd by House

By Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune

April 19, 2010, 8:06PM

With little debate, the House on Monday directed the Department of Public Safety and Corrections not to implement the data-collecting and sharing of information on drivers licenses that could be used for a national identification card.

Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake CharlesLawmakers voted 97-0 for the ban contained in House Bill 870 by Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles. The bill heads to the Senate for debate.

Read more... {jcomments on}

House votes to nullify federal health insurance mandate in Louisiana

By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010, 6:16PM

 

The House of Representatives voted 59-15 today to declare that Louisiana residents should not be subject to the looming mandate to buy health insurance, an anchor provision of President Barack Obama's recently enacted health care overhaul.

 

Both the debate and the vote fell along party lines, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans to forge a majority. Several other Democrats chose not to vote, a tacit admission of the political difficulty, particularly for white Democrats, of associating with a president who is overwhelmingly unpopular among white Louisiana voters.
House Bill 1474 states that every Louisiana resident "is and shall be free from governmental intrusion in choosing or declining to choose any mode of securing health insurance coverage without penalty or threat of penalty."

Sponsor Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, said  Read more...

House budget chairman endorses use of rainy-day fund to solve budget deficit

By Jan Moller, The Times-Picayune

May 12, 2010, 12:49PM

BATON ROUGE -- A deal on solving the state's $319 million mid-year budget shortfall appears to be close, as the chairman of the House budget committee said this morning that he agrees with the Senate on tapping the state's rainy-day fundRead more...{jcomments on}


State Rep. proposes bill to block health care reform

by Adam Duvernay

 

Uncertainty surrounding proposed health care reforms has many of President Barack Obama’s political opponents seeking ways to curtail the effects of government-run medicine.

 

A proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Louisiana would do just that — shield state residents and businesses from being forced to accept national health care changes.

 

Article XII, Section 8.2 would prohibit laws which compel persons, employers and health care providers to participate in any health care system.

 

The amendment’s author, Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, said his proposal was designed to preserve personal choice and allow Louisiana residents to refuse to accept a government option to health care.

 

“Liberal Democrats don’t want people to have a choice,” Talbot said. “They want to tell people what to do and fine them if they don’t.”

 

The drafting of this amendment puts Louisiana into a group of other states, including Arizona and Florida, which have written similar legislation to disregard mandatory health care reforms.

 

Arizona’s legislature passed a similar amendment earlier this year and is waiting on a vote from the general public in 2010.