A new year always brings about self-reflection as we think about what went right, what went wrong and what we should resolve to do to make this year the best one yet. As 2019 is now upon us, what will Louisiana’s New Year resolution be?
Will it be to focus on our health? There’s certainly room for improvement as Louisiana was just ranked the unhealthiest state in the nation during 2018. That’s despite Gov. Edwards adding nearly 500,000 work-capable adults to the government Medicaid rolls and despite Louisianans paying the highest health premiums in the country.
Will it be to sharpen our brains? Lot’s to do there, too, as our state was ranked No. 50 among the best education systems in the country last year.
Or how about a new job? Republicans in Congress worked with President Donald Trump to craft policies to unleash the American economy, and boy did it respond. Except in Louisiana, which remained ranked No. 48 in economic strength as announced business projects under Edwards collapsed by 72 percent below its six-year average.
With a struggling economy, unemployment rate well above the national average, the worst health care in the nation and the worst school system in the country, it’s no wonder families are fleeing the state in droves. Frankly, it hurts me to see the state that I love withering on the vine under the liberal, big-government policies and misguided priorities of Gov. Edwards.
Maybe instead of treating the symptoms, we should resolve to find a cure. In 2019, I hope you resolve to right the ship and elect me as governor.
Louisiana is blessed with so many natural resources, a vibrant culture and just downhome good folks. Imagine a Louisiana where our public schools are the crown jewel of the community and something to be proud of; where access to quality health care doesn’t mean government dependency and asking bureaucrats for permission to seek wellness. Imagine a Louisiana with new infrastructure, reliable high-speed Internet connectivity, and a workforce training program that attracts talent and investments from throughout the United States.
That’s the Louisiana we could have. We have everything we need to be successful and build the future for our children that they deserve, everything except a leader willing to make it happen. Simply put: Gov. Edwards has prioritized bigger government, higher spending and raising taxes. That is not a recipe for success, as every socioeconomic indicator proves.
Throughout my life, I have always tried to answer the call to serve when I’ve seen a need. I went back to medical school and chose to medicine in the rural Louisiana Delta because poorer, rural people deserve access to quality health care. I ran for Congress because I was concerned about the direction of the country under Barack Obama.
I’m running for Governor because someone needs to shake up Louisiana. I have never been a part of the Baton Rouge insiders’ club and will bring a fresh perspective and new energy that city desperately needs.
Louisiana is at a crossroads. We can keep with the current administration for another four years of raising taxes and increasing spending, growing government programs, filling state boards and commissions with liberals, and chasing away jobs and businesses.
We don’t have to go back down that road. Elect me, and you’ll get a Governor who prioritizes jobs and growing our economy, training and educating the workforce of the future, and building a Louisiana that gives our people a reason to call it home.
2019 is a monumental year for our state. As you consider what you want to see in our future, I hope you’ll join me on this journey so that together we can make Louisiana the great state we know it can be.
Ralph Abraham, M.D., is a conservative Republican candidate for Governor. He has represented Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District since 2015.