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LA legislators seeing through expansion snow job?

The Medicaid expansion con job perpetrated on Louisiana by the Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration continues to unravel, as confirmed in yesterday’s preliminary budget hearings by the House Appropriations Committee.

The Department of Health’s request for $14.6 billion for fiscal year would, in terms of operating expenses, vacuum up half of the state’s spending. From the beginning of former Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s terms, this more than doubles that amount of a decade ago (including charity hospital costs), both in overall spending and in the amount of general fund dollars expended.

But LDH Secretary Rebekah Gee insisted Medicaid expansion had nothing to do with escalating state costs, saying almost all new spending would come from federal dollars. Further, she alleged that expansion had saved money this fiscal year – the oft-stated number being $184 million – and according to this budget would cause a reduction of $41 million in general fund spending over last year.


Trump picks portend good things for Louisiana

The news just keeps getting better for Louisianans regarding the shape of the incoming Pres.-elect Donald Trump Administration, with the selection of Dr. Ben Carson as Sec.-designate of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Before that pick, dating prior to the Republican’s election last month, Louisiana experienced a steady stream of good news regarding the assumed direction of national public policy under a Trump Administration. Tapping significant anthropogenic climate change realist Myron Ebell to direct incoming environmental policy and personnel meant a step back away from the punitive, ideologically-driven Environment Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse gases, challenged in court by Louisiana, and in approving of pipelines that would bring substantial energy resources to the state for processing and export. It also means putting a lid on alarmism by the federal government on the hydraulic fracturing process of extracting energy, which plagued efforts in some parts of the state.

Naming Republican Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services will help Louisiana pull back from the after-effects of ruinous Medicaid expansion. If that survives at all, it likely would come in a form of vouchers backed by block grants that allow states to shape their coverage parameters and responsibility, perhaps along the lines of the plan initially offered by incoming Vice Pres. and current Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence rejected by the federal government.


Out-of-touch Campbell Senate candidacy sinking fast

As it suffers its death throes, the campaign of Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has turned increasingly bizarre, lurching into an Orwellian mode entirely tone deaf about why he will lose this election in uncompromising fashion.

With polls showing a healthy lead for fellow runoff contestant Republican Treasurer John Kennedy and early voting trends not on Campbell’s side, he and his allied political action committee Defend Louisiana have banked everything on hopelessly desperate and tellingly self-unaware advertisements and statements. These appear desperate because they spin fantastic assertions that strain credulity and lack awareness because they bring up Campbell’s own vulnerabilities as a candidate.

For example, even though Kennedy has publicly voiced pro-life attitudes since 2004 and has the endorsement of the leading pro-life group National Right to Life, the PAC ran ads claiming Kennedy harbored pro-abortion sentiments more than a dozen years ago. That Defend Louisiana would employ a tactic attacking Kennedy on inconsistency on this issue seems ironic given that the organization initially formed to back Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards last year, who himself evinced pro-abortion sentiments in a contemplated 2006 run for Congress and in 2009 as a legislator supported weakening a pro-life conscience protection bill yet now claims staunch pro-life views.


Conflict coming between Edwards' approval, agenda

Something’s going to have to give, and likely that means public approval of Democrat John Bel Edwards will fall unless he changes his agenda.

In a recent poll, Edwards checked in with about five-eighths of registered voters approving of his job performance, versus a third who disapproved. His rating came in a bit overstated, however, as the sample contained 49 percent Democrats compared to just 44 percent statewide, and that a significant gap appeared in judging him favorably between Democrats much more friendly to him and Republicans. Also worth considering: Democrats tend to turn out to vote in disproportionately fewer numbers than Republicans, by a small margin.

Still, it’s better than being barely above water as he was months ago, when then well under half approved. But going forward his agenda the public soundly rejects, creating a major problem for his elective career.