Ralph Abraham: How John Bel Edwards Puts Politics Over People

 

By Ralph Abraham

 

It seems the days of political intimidation and partisan retaliation are alive and well in the governor’s office.

 

On Saturday, August 3rd, The Advocate reported that the parent company of Louisiana Healthcare Connections contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

 

The very night the story was posted online, members of the Edwards administration are said to have publicly boasted that the company made a “huge mistake” in giving to the RGA, and that there would be “consequences.”

 

Less than 36 hours later, a high-ranking member of Governor Edwards’ administration called a representative of Louisiana Healthcare Connections to inform them that they would be dropped from the state’s Medicaid managed care system. Louisiana Healthcare Connections is currently the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in Louisiana, covering nearly 500,000 Medicaid enrollees. This decision will not only cost hundreds of jobs, but disrupt access to care for hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens.

 

This is just one example of the non-stop intimidation coming from the governor’s office directed towards his political opponents, with Louisiana citizens paying the price. It appears there’s nothing John Bel Edwards won’t do to punish those who don’t fall in line. The days of Huey Long-style cronyism should be long gone. But, under John Bel Edwards, the stink of corruption is once again strong in the governor’s office. “People Over Politics” might be the most inaccurate campaign slogan of all time for this governor.