ST. FRANCISVILLE — With much of his adult life spent healing sick people, Sen. Bill Cassidy hasn’t quite figured out how to fix the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., he said during an Aug. 24 stop in St. Francisville.
Cassidy, a practicing physician, raced through a litany of maladies that have infected the nation’s capital during three town hall-style meetings Aug. 24 that began in Zachary at Oakwood Village, included a stop at Slaughter Town Hall and ended at St. Francisville Town Hall.
Like most Republicans, Cassidy blamed many of the problems on President Barack Obama’s policies.
He said the Affordable Care Act is an issue that is brought up at almost every town hall meeting he attends. Cassidy said health care premiums have been driven up for most Americans, making it unaffordable for many. Hardest hit are business owners.
“Health care costs are an issue,” Cassidy said. “There’s been an explosion in insurance costs, pharmaceutical costs and hospital costs.”
Cassidy said he’s introduced a bill featuring health savings accounts in the Senate, but he said it needs 60 votes to pass, and 44 senators support Obama “no matter what,” making it virtually impossible to get enough support.
Cassidy said he supports oil and gas development because of the high-paying jobs with better benefits that would be created with increased activity. He said the president and Democrats have been hostile to the coal industry and nixed the Keystone Pipeline, stymieing development in an industry that is vital to Louisiana economy.
Cassidy said he is opposed to the Iran deal that Obama has sent to Congress. His concern is that Iran will not only develop nuclear weapons capabilities but will acquire missiles capable of destroying United States allies and potentially reaching Americans.
He answered a number of questions that ranged from topics on the Veterans Administration to the ban on oil exports and the current race to elect Obama’s successor.
“The American people are upset; that’s why Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders are doing so well,” Cassidy said. “Until the American people feel Washington, D.C., is working for them, we will continue to see this.”