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And this is why: He must hate Louisiana and her people. Coburn, whose state obviously never has had a major disaster (judging from his behavior) introduced an amendment to the Senate healthcare bill stripping it of the $300 million Mary Landrieu had had added to help Louisiana make up for what would be a catastrophic Medicaid shortfall.

Talk about kicking somebody when they're down--Louisiana seriously needs this money.

This means war. Because if the definition of genocide can be broadened to mean the deliberate subjection of a place's people to pain, hardship and destitution, along with not having access to health care, the lack of which ensures suffering and premature death from preventable or treatable causes, Coburn wants to commit genocide in Louisiana. He has a history of being against anything that would help Louisiana and her people.

Shortly after Coburn's announcement, Landrieu's office fired back. Her spokesman, Aaron Saunders, accused Coburn of orchestrating a "political stunt" that would ultimately hurt Louisiana residents, who are still rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"He has made a habit of grandstanding against Louisiana without any knowledge of the challenges faced by our residents as they struggle to recover from the worst natural disaster to ever hit America," Saunders told The Hill.

"Apparently, Sen. Coburn supports an inequitable federal formula that would leave the poorest Louisianians without health care," he added. "This population hardly constitutes a ‘special interest.’"

To make matters worse, Coburn's malicious treatment of Louisiana takes place against a depressingly Dickensian backdrop for Louisiana is in a world of hurt. If she were a human being she'd cry in anguish. Firstly, according to a report by Agenda For Children,  a quarter of her children are living in poverty.

Race and place are two of the more important predictors of child well-being in Louisiana, according to the report, The 2009 Kids Count Data Book on Louisiana's Children, produced by Agenda for Children,

The child poverty rate of 56 percent in East Carroll Parish is 3.7 times as large as the child poverty rate in St. Tammany Parish, at 15 percent.

The quality and availability of housing, schools, job opportunities and health care all combine to define a child's environment, for better or worse. As the report reveals, children of color are more likely to grow up in distressed neighborhoods that can limit opportunities available to young people and their families.

The data show African-American children in Louisiana are more likely than their white peers to experience a host of negative outcomes ranging from being born pre-term to dropping out of high school.

Secondly, food stamp rolls in Louisiana have grown.

Louisiana’s trends may not be directly linked to a poor economy, a state official said.

"We don’t know what it’s attributable to," said Sammy Guillory, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Family Support in the Department of Social Services...

The data collected by the New York Times from state agencies, the U.S. Census, and U.S. Department of Agriculture shows St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Orleans parishes have the highest increases in food stamp families during the past two years in Louisiana.

Those coastal parishes are typically hit the hardest by hurricanes. It is unclear whether those families are struggling because of economic or natural disasters, Guillory said.

More people are returning to Louisiana after fleeing from hurricanes in 2005, Guillory said. He added that the federal government recently increased the benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps.

The article adds that 12 Louisiana parishes have at least 25% of their population on food stamps.

I hope that the Senate Democrats have the will and the courage to stand up against Coburn's evil machinations so that Louisiana can get the help she needs.

Originally posted to Louisiana 1976 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:33 PM PST.

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