Jindal sees local oil lawsuits as an opportunity to fix reputation: John Maginnis
Although Gov. Bobby Jindal publically condemned the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East for suing the oil and gas industry for damages to Louisiana’s wetlands, he has remained silent on two similar lawsuits filed by Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes. John Maginnis says the governor’s stance has nothing to do with the fact that the parishes’ suits are brought by elected officials. Rather, Maginnis writes: The administration can monitor the lawsuits as it nudges the parties toward a negotiated settlement. At that point, the two coastal parishes won’t be alone, for it is likely that negotiations would lead to a global settlement to include the flood protection authority and the potential claims of other parishes, levee boards and the state itself. … Such a settlement could go a long way toward funding the state’s master plan for the coast, projected to cost $50 billion over 50 years. Not only would that secure Jindal’s reputation as a coastal protector, but it also would, nationally, establish his independence from and his power over the mighty oil industry.
Commonwealth Fund study shows Americans pay more for health care but get meager results
Americans pay more for health care, on a per-capita basis, than residents in other developed nations. But overall health outcomes in America remain meager, at best, The New York Times editorialized on Sunday, citing a study by the Commonwealth. For example, 37 percent of American adults went without recommended care, opted not to see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions in the past year because of costs, compared with 4 percent of British adults and 6 percent of Swedish adults, the Times writes. American adults were also more likely to not pay medical bills or have serious problems paying them compared to adults in other countries. The complexity of the American insurance system is also an issue. Some 32 percent of consumers spent a lot of time on insurance paperwork or in disputes with their insurer over denials of payment for services they thought were covered.
Health-care navigators answer community concerns
While the federal government scrambles to fix problems with the healthcare.gov website, dozens of people showed up at LSU’s urgent-care clinic Monday night to get questions answered about the options available under the Affordable Care Act. Health-care “navigators” were on hand to provide information about federal subsidies available through the new federal insurance marketplace to people whose earnings fall between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty rate. Although only 387 Louisianans managed to sign up for health coverage through the online marketplace in its first month of operation, more than 7,700 applications, covering an estimated 14,100 people, have been submitted so far.
New study looks at how families build wealth
Despite a decrease in economic mobility and widening income disparities, a new report identifies several trends that helped some families build wealth over the past 12 years. According to Institute on Assets and Social Policy (ISAP), households that grew their wealth benefited from wage increases, strong employment benefits, help from family members and rising home equity. Inversely, families who lost wealth tended to suffer from health problems, marriage issues, rising unemployment and increased expenses due to health care costs of a family member. In addition to negative life consequences, another factor for wealth loss was the use of savings to invest in a business, a new house, children’s education, or luxuries like a new car.
Upcoming LBP Events
LBP analyst David Gray will participate in a panel discussion on payday lending in Louisiana 6 p.m. today at Elm Grove Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. More details on this event are on our payday lending page. In addition, LBP and PolicyLink are hosting a Twitter chat on “Protecting Your Paycheck: The Pitfalls of Payday Lending” on 1 p.m. Dec. 12 using the hashtag #protecturpay.