Bill Cassidy Blatantly Lies About Voting Against VA Medical Center

Listen to it for yourself — this is a direct quote from Rep. Bill Cassidy:

“Well first, I chuckle when Senator Landrieu, for example, says I voted against the VA hospital in New Orleans. I wasn’t in Congress when the VA hospital was voted on. I’m not sure if it’s a half-truth, I think it’s a lie.”

There is only one person lying, and it’s Bill Cassidy. No, he wasn’t in the United States House of Representatives at the time. Neither was the bill. It was a state legislative bill in Louisiana when Cassidy was a Louisiana State Senator. He voted against it. There isn’t much more to it.

Read the research below, and then feel free to call the Congressman and ask him why he’s blatantly lying about his record.

Background: 

CASSIDY VOTED AGAINST LSU VA MEDICAL CENTER

Cassidy Opposed An LSU And Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Saying “For That Money, You Can Afford To Give Everyone Private Health insurance.”  “Cassidy said he is researching how to lower health-care costs statewide and that he opposes the LSU and Veterans Affairs medical center in New Orleans at its proposed huge size. ‘For that money you can afford to give everyone private health insurance,’ Cassidy said, arguing for more public and private health-care integration in Louisiana so the money can better follow the patients.” [The Advocate, 10/1/07]

LSU Was Intended To Be A Joint Venture With The Department Of Veterans Affairs. “The Legislature’s top money panel Friday advanced plans to seek $300 million in federal hurricane recovery funds for a new LSU teaching hospital in New Orleans. LSU hospital would be a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It would replace the storm-damaged Charity and University hospitals that treat the poor and uninsured. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget signed off on a business plan for a 484-bed hospital.” [The Advocate, 5/19/07]

2007: LSU: “The New LSU/VA Hospital Moved One Step Closer” To Becoming A Reality With SCR 76. In June 2007, the LSU Health Sciences Center Chancellor wrote in his newsletter: “The new LSU/VA hospital moved one step closer to becoming our new university teaching hospital in downtown New Orleans yesterday with final legislative passage of SCR 76 by the House. The week before the Senate voted favorable for the measure which approves the business plan for the new hospital.” [LSU Health Sciences Center, Chancellor’s Notes, 6/15/07]

  • Cassidy Voted Against Bill, SCR 76, Which Approved The Business Plan For LSU-VA Medical Center.In June 2007, Cassidy voted against SCR 76. SCR 76 approved the business plan for the New Orleans LSU-VA Medical Center. According to the Times-Picayune, “The House voted 70-33 to approve a business plan for the project, which is expected to be finished by 2012 and would replace Charity Hospital with a 484-bed hospital that backers envision as a hub for treating the uninsured and training the next generation of doctors and nurses. Senators approved the same resolution — Senate Concurrent Resolution 76 by Senate President Donald Hines, D-Bunkie — earlier this month, but the House was considered to be a tougher venue. The state’s plan, which would direct $300 million in federal block-grant financing to buy land and start construction on the hospital, still needs approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has final say on the use of such grants. A state ‘action plan’ has been languishing at the agency since late April. A spokesman said earlier this week that the matter is under review. LSU officials hailed Thursday’s vote as a sign that the state is committed to moving ahead with a proposed partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to build adjoining hospitals that would share common features such as parking and food services.” The Senate resolution passed 25-8. 6 members were absent.  [SCR76, voted 6/5/07; Times-Picayune, 6/15/07]
  • LSU Hospital Was Supposed To Be A Joint Venture With The U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs. “LSU hospital would be a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It would replace the storm-damaged Charity and University hospitals that treat the poor and uninsured.” [The Advocate, 5/19/07]

New Orleans VA Medical Center Was Being Built To Restore “A Home Base For Hospital Care, Long-Term Rehabilitation And Research.”“The planned 200-bed complex will anchor a health system that has spread across south Louisiana since Katrina and now serves 40,000 veterans in seven clinics and a new ambulatory-care center on Poydras Street, with inpatient services provided by VA doctors in other Veterans Affairs hospitals and through a contract with Tulane Medical Center. Restoring a home base for hospital care, long-term rehabilitation and research, Catellier said, is the key step in restoring a completely integrated health system for former military men and women across the Gulf Coast. The system’s enrollment goal by the hospital’s opening date is 70,000.” [Times-Picayune, 8/21/11]

Delays For New VA Hospitals Compromised Veterans’ Healthcare. “New VA hospitals in New Orleans, Las Vegas and suburban Orlando, Fla., also face delays as long as five years and construction costs that have risen a total of $1.5 billion, according to a 2013 review by the General Accounting Office. The long, expensive saga of the Aurora veterans medical center and the other hospitals is separate from the widening scandal over patient wait lists that ultimately forced Shinseki’s resignation. But many say the delay in getting new facilities online also compromises veterans’ healthcare.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/9/14]

New New Orleans VA Hospital Was Being Built To Replace The Major VA Hospital Damaged By Hurricane Katrina. “Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast three and a half years before Barack Obama was sworn in as president, but the recovery lagged so much that Obama made several Katrina-related promises during his presidential candidacy in 2008. One of the promises was to rebuild hospitals in New Orleans, including ‘a major medical complex in downtown New Orleans that will serve the entire community’ and ‘a new, state-of-the-art Department of Veterans Affairs hospital.’  […] The other federal effort aimed at supporting this promise concerns the rebuilding of a major VA hospital damaged by the hurricane.” [Politifact, 1/14/13]