It’s hard to be a woman in Louisiana
A recent spate of reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Violence Policy Center, the Center for American Progress and others point to similar conclusions: Louisiana women fare worse than their counterparts across the nation. Melinda Deslatte of the Associated Press rounds up the dispiriting news in her weekly column “The data suggested the state has the second-largest pay gap between women and men in the nation,” Deslatte writes, “ranks ninth in the rate of women murdered by men and offers women worse access to health care and economic opportunities than most other states across the country.” One report ranked Louisiana worst in the country for providing opportunities to women, and showed 22 percent of the state’s female population lives in poverty. In addition, women make up only a small percentage of the state’s political leadership and that number is dropping. The pay gap is also larger in Louisiana and still growing — data in September showed women’s median pay dropped over the previous year while men’s median income grew. LBP also addressed the pay gap in its recent report, “The State of Working Louisiana 2013.”
It’s not just children who are going hungry
Louisiana was one of 26 states to reject federal dollars to expand health coverage to its low-income population, leaving many living below the poverty line with no means to afford health insurance. Many of those people will be working adults who have no dependent children. An editorial by the New York Times says this population is often left out of assistance programs for the needy. “Traditionally, Medicaid, and other government anti-poverty programs, have largely ignored childless adults under the antiquated rationale that only children, their parents, older Americans and the disabled are deserving of help,” the Editorial Board writes. “The sheer number of childless adults in poverty defies that notion, as does compassion and economic necessity — an economy cannot thrive with a significant share of the working-age population stuck in poverty.”
System failure leaves Louisiana families without food assistance
Debit cards carrying food assistance benefits in Louisiana are working again after a reported system failure prevented the cards from working on Saturday. Government officials said the outage was due to a technical error with Xerox, not the government shutdown. The glitch affected 16 states, including Louisiana. While some stores were able to switch to a manual system, allowing customers to spend a limited amount, several media outlets reported customers abandoning carts of groceries because they could not access their benefits.
Landrieu: The shutdown is ‘dangerous, unnecessary and completely manufactured crisis’
The government shutdown continues, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu is pointing the finger at Congressional Republicans, who she said created this “dangerous, unnecessary and completely manufactured crisis” in a misguided attempt to block the Affordable Care Act because they did not have enough support to block the law through sane channels.
“Reasonable people can have various opinions about the best way to provide high quality and affordable health care to working and middle class families in Louisiana and small businesses that serve as the backbone of our economy. I have said repeatedly that the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but it is a significant upgrade to the old health care system that cost too much, covered too few and left working families one medical emergency away from financial ruin. But even if you disagree with the law and don’t think it is the right approach, the fact remains that the bill passed the House and the Senate, was signed into law by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court.”