Louisiana has the highest poverty rate in the nation under Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, according to data released by the Census Bureau.
The U.S. Census Bureau released data that found while the American poverty rate continues to decline, Louisiana’s poverty has only increased. Further, the government agency found that Louisiana has the highest rate in the nation, according to two- and three-year averages cited in the report.
The national poverty rate has dropped to historic lows at an average of 12 percent for the 2017-2018 period, which is down from 13.1 percent from two years prior. However, Louisiana increased by 0.4 percent, rising to 19.8 percent for the 2017-2018 period.
Recent jobs data also found that while most states have experienced record job growth under President Trump, Edwards’ Louisiana was the only state to lose jobs in 2018.
Edwards made no mention of the rising poverty in Louisiana; however, he did cheer the rising number of insured patients in Louisiana, which was primarily driven by the state’s Medicaid expansion.
Gov. Edwards said that Louisiana is “moving in the right direction when it comes to the quality of health—and life.”
Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) has slammed Gov. Edwards for pushing Medicaid expansion, believing that it has led to widespread waste, fraud, and abuse, while hurting those who need access to Medicaid.
“We’re here today to draw attention to John Bel’s Department of Health, one of the most ineffective and poorly run government agencies in Louisiana—which is saying something,” Abraham said last week in a press conference.
Abraham charged that roughly half a billion Medicaid dollars had been wasted under Gov. Edwards, explaining that the state enrolled many wealthy Louisianans who should have never been on the program.
Let’s quickly talk about the massive waste, fraud, and abuse within the Department. The Department of Health has wasted nearly $500 million of taxpayer money. To put that into context, that’s equal to the half cent sales tax that John Bel passed. The governor and the Department of Health have enrolled more than 1,600 on Medicaid who make six-figure incomes. Think about that for a minute. While this is going on, John Bel has killed every attempt to fix the problem. He won’t use accurate data like state income tax to verify income and has killed every measure to reform the department. The governor’s goal is to get as many people on state-sponsored health care as possible. You know who this hurts more than the taxpayers? It hurts the people who actually need the services.
Abraham’s campaign also put out an ad Thursday, touting the congressman’s history helping Louisianan families. In addition, Rep. Abraham promised to revitalize Louisiana’s economy.
“As a family doctor, I’ve cared for thousands of Louisiana’s children. And as your governor, I will work to create a safe, prosperous state, one that our children will be proud of and never have to leave,” Abraham said: