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Neil Riser Campaigns to Deny Health Insurance to People of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District

Riser Touts Plan That Has Failed 42 Times And McCain Calls “Not Rational”

BATON ROUGE — Neil Riser’s campaign to replace Congressman Rodney Alexander in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District is appealing to voters with a cynical ploy to keep hundreds of thousands of Louisianians from getting health insurance and end the benefits his constituents are already receiving under the Affordable Care Act.

“In his first campaign ad to voters of the 5th Congressional District, Neil Riser doesn’t tout his achievements in the Legislature or talk about how he plans to help create jobs in this rural, impoverished district,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “Instead, Neil Riser has chosen to make a call to ‘repeal Obamacare’ the centerpiece of his campaign strategy. If Riser hasn’t been paying attention, he should know that the House Republicans have tried — and failed — at this strategy 42 times. Even Republicans like John McCain have called this plan ‘not rational,’ and Rand Paul acknowledges ‘we probably can’t defeat or get rid of Obamacare.’

“Try as Riser might, there’s no fooling the voters of the 5th Congressional District. When he says ‘those jokers in Washington,’ he’s talking about the very members of Congress that have endorsed his campaign. He’s talking about John Fleming, Charles Boustany and John Boehner — Beltway insiders who have no plan to help the people of Louisiana, except to shut down the federal government in a last-second attempt to keep hundreds of thousands of Louisianians from getting health insurance.”

The Health Insurance Marketplace, which is set to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, will help thousands of working families in the 5th Congressional District, which has the highest uninsured rate of any district in Louisiana. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 21 percent of the district’s residents lack health insurance. For children in the district, about one in 10 does not have health coverage. Insurers on the Marketplace will not be able to deny people with pre-existing conditions, and each plan will cover benefits including doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, maternity care and prescription drugs.

Even though the Health Insurance Marketplace has yet to open, the Affordable Care Act is already benefiting the people of Louisiana’s 5th District in the following ways:

  • 8,500 young adults in the district now have health insurance through their parents’ plan.

  • More than 10,400 seniors saved an average of $840 on their prescription drugs last year.

  • 11,100 consumers received nearly $1 million in rebates on their health insurance premiums in 2011 and 2012.