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Data show huge Medicaid expansion redistribution

Gov. John Bel Edwards won’t give up in trying to con the public into believing Medicaid expansion netted a win for Louisiana.

Periodically, his administration breathlessly announces with positive spin some new factoid about the program, which has put approaching a half million more Louisianans on the public dole. The latest comes from a survey that extrapolates the adult uninsured rate in the state has fallen by just about half from six months prior to expansion through 2017.

Fixating only on insured status does miss the larger point of access to health care. Perhaps less than in any other state, because of Louisiana’s archaic public hospital system, does the lack of insurance translate into no health care; plenty of those uninsured people had access to health care – for free – prior to expansion.


LA must appraise realistically ex-con homelessness

In addressing homelessness of ex-prisoners, now a growing concern with Louisiana’s recent changes in its criminal justice system, solutions that misunderstand the human condition will not alleviate this problem.

A recent report highlighted difficulties ex-convicts face in finding permanent housing. A report by the Prison Policy Initiative determined that about one percent were homeless, and another one percent lived in temporary shelter. The combined proportion doubles for freed multiple offenders. This contrasts with the general public, in which about 0.2 percent lived in one of these conditions.

Granted, two percent represents a very small portion of the overall formerly incarcerated. Still, if that exceeds the general population by 10 times, some factors must work to cause that. The question then becomes what public policy options may ameliorate this.


Letter lamentably misleads on Catholic doctrine

If Catholics want to have confidence in institutions surrounding their faith that sustain it, those in the institution not only have to act better, but they have to teach the faith accurately.

American Catholics have been rocked by news of the extraordinarily perverse actions of clergy in Pennsylvania, both in terms of sexual deviance and covering up the horrors from that. Now more than ever, to reassure Catholics that their belief is about the faith and not the people entrusted to minister to that faith, propagation of a true understanding of that faith is necessary.

Thus, it was disheartening to see a Louisiana example that fails in this regard. Recently, I authored a Baton Rouge Advocate column that in part addressed the death penalty. In it, I noted the Catechism change ordered by Pope Francis that withdraws support for capital punishment as part of Catholic teaching, which represents the first doctrinal change made by a pope in the Church’s history.