It took Senator Mary Landrieu a while to come around on the issue of healthcare reform, but when push came to shove, she cast one of 60 votes in favor of passage in the Senate and she has not looked back since then.
The Times-Picayune offered some proof this week that the Senator's interest in the legislation did not end with it becoming law. She is now actively working to dispell and clarify distortions about the law, as well as comments she has made regarding it.
The T-P cites one instance where a person the paper identified as a point person for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) on the legislation calling the new law a "job crippler." That quote appeared in a newspaper and drew a four-page letter in response from Landrieu.
Greg Hamer Sr., of Morgan City, the owner of 53 Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food restaurants in Louisiana and Texas, got the message in a recent face-to-face meeting with Landrieu in her Washington office along with other members of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.
As he recounted in a subsequent e-mail message that went viral, "talking directly to me because of a question I asked her, concerning the fact that we will be forced to shrink our workforce and lay off several hundred employees if Obamacare takes effect, she put me in my place."
Hamer notes in his email that he was not quoting Senator Landrieu. The Senator made clear in her response delivered to the Louisiana Restaurant Association that what Hamer distributed was not even close to paraphrasing what she said.
In her response, Landrieu sites three specific aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will help Louisiana small business owners:
- Tax credits: I authored amendments to make the small business tax credit for health care coverage both more generous and available sooner - so small businesses could take it beginning this year. Today, you can go to the IRS website (www.irs.gov) to see if you qualify for this credit this year.
- Waiting periods: At the request of restaurant owners, I authored a provision that gives small businesses more time to insure new employees without facing penalties. Under the original bill, businesses that did not enroll their employees in health insurance within 30 days would have paid a fine. My amendment extended the waiting period to 90 days with no penalty.
- No Business Mandate: Perhaps most important to all Louisiana business owners, the new law does not impose a mandate for businesses to provide health insurance.
Landrieu also cited recognition she recieved from the National Restaurant Association for her work on the law.
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act continue to rely on distortions, fabrications and lies to describe the impact of this law. It's great to see Senator Landrieu standing up to set the record straight!