"Another reason we aren't growing very quickly is because of our unemployment rate," Erspamer said. "Unemployment is high partially because people could lose their government benefits, like Medicaid, if they ended up making a bit more money."

Do not many of us want to know where our money is spent and why we still have the problems that we do?

Daniel Erspamer is the CEO of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. Erspamer spoke about these issues at the October 18 GOP Roundtable. The Ascension Republican Women hosted him.

"Pelican Institute looks at challenges and barriers to jobs, and we do research to understand what allows humans to flourish," Erspamer said. "We believe that free-enterprise gives people the best opportunities."

One way we can begin to understand this is by looking at our states spending. In the Louisiana Constitution, there are only 13,000 words that explain how our elected representatives should spend our money. Eighty-nine percent of our spending is decided by people outside of Louisiana, while the remaining eleven percent in state have the ability to decide on the spending.

"Our institution sets out to discover why Louisiana isn't growing quite as quickly as other states, and we have found that to be directly related to the spending, and growth, of the Medicaid program," Erspamer said.

Since Medicaid has expanded, 5,000 people in the tradition program have died while waiting for a Medicaid procedure.

"Another reason we aren't growing very quickly is because of our unemployment rate," Erspamer said. "Unemployment is high partially because people could lose their government benefits, like Medicaid, if they ended up making a bit more money."

As of September 2018, Louisiana is ranked 48th in unemployment rate, with five percent being unemployed.

"If we create a new vision for Louisiana, we can dramatically improve the lives of the people within our state. We must begin to do this through new jobs, while also creating new opportunities," Erspamer said.

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