MONDAY: Jim Donelon and Jim Nickel


Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon gives his assessment of Obamacare nearly 5 years after the Affordable Care Act.

Donelon shares that his staff will have to be reduced from 250 (formerly 275) to 210 by July 1 because of the budget crisis.  He deems the budget crisis to have been caused by, "unreasonable bloating and unreasonable tax cutting measures to fund other priorities... that are not as worthy."  

53% of rebate money goes unclaimed.  The penalty for lacking health insurance is 1% of the household income.  184,532 Louisianians are enrolled in government healthcare.  A listener questions the government funded healthcare regarding the closing of a Baton Rouge Emergency Room.  

"We have seen significant improvements in higher education," Donelon says.  "LSU is struggling to keep the best and brightest of its faculty members because of the budget cuts."  


Lobbyist Jim Nickel weighs in on the influence of lobbyists at the State Capitol.  He also discusses the candidates for governor and the comments by John Bel Edwards from Friday's show.  

David Vitter has more money in his campaign than all of his components combined.  "I think we have four really good candidates for governor," Nickel says, commenting on the industrious nature of each man and their knowledge of Louisiana.  "The governor has made it crystal clear that he will veto any tax/fee increase," Nickel says as to the lack of tax proposals by the legislature.

Nickel continues, discussing the budget crisis and how it will affect higher education and what solutions can be implemented to ease the problem.  He also speculates on who will be the 2016 presidential candidates.   

"There's no partisanship in Mardi Gras," Nickel says.  He also answers a question about Common Core.  "Common Core was the result of a group of governors working with business leaders to come up with a set of standards to keep in competition with the rest of the world." 

They comment on last night's Oscar performance by Lady Gaga in her tribute to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music.  

"I'm so fond of him I can't say enough," Nickel says of Henson Moore.