Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

HIGH COST OF HEP C:  You’ve probably seen the TV commercials touting  treatment for Hepatitis C,  a virus that infects the liver.  And while newer drugs offer faster cures  for Hep C,  the costs can be staggering costing  as much  as  $20,000 or more per patient.   Louisiana's Department of  Health  Secretary  Rebekah Gee is clashing with the pharmaceutical industry over the high costs of  Hepatitis C drugs  Gee told the Baton Rouge Press Club meeting yesterday,  that the drugs are so expensive many infected people in the state go without treatment.

In New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, a new infrastructure project has reopened old wounds.

For more than 50 years, the Army Corps of Engineers has tried to expand the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. The shipping canal connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. Now, officials want to dig it up and build a new lock to let more tugboats and barges through.

But the people of Lower Ninth are not having it. The conflict is emblematic of a long history of mistrust.

Often referred to as “miracle drugs”, the ads for new medications are almost inescapable.

But the newer medications don’t come cheap.

“Prime example of that is Hepatitis C, where we have about 70-thousand individuals in our state. Only 320 of those individuals got drug treatment last year,” State Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Baton Rouge Press Club. 

Louisiana isn’t the only place in the world trying to fight back the ocean. Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, and the Dutch are well-known for their water management expertise.


Elio Motors To Appear Before Motor Vehicle Commission

Jul 10, 2017
Elio Motors

Elio Motors is scheduled to appear before the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission this morning. The company which that plans to build 3-wheel vehicles in Shreveport was summoned earlier this year to answer questions about possible state violations, but failed to appear.

The commission believes that Elio’s pre-purchase program may be breaking laws against car companies selling directly to consumers.

Elio has yet to start production at the old GM plant in Shreveport.

Congress returns to work today,  after the July 4th break and the number one topic  is the  U.S. Senate health care bill,  a large focus of the  GOP-driven version of the bill was aimed at reducing spending on Medicaid,  the health insurance program for the poor paid for with state and federal dollars.  If passed,  the bill would roll back federal funds for Medicaid expansion and eventually put caps on how much each state will receive for the traditional  Medicaid program  based on  a  per-capita formula.

Louisiana's Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Rallo talks about restoration of TOPS and continuing budget woes on college campuses in our state.

Congress returns to work today, and the number one topic is the U.S. Senate healthcare bill that did not get voted on before the 4th of July break.

“I’m thankful that they hit the pause button,” Governor John Bel Edwards says. “But now it’s time to get it right, because what they’re considering is so wrong, I don’t think it could be made right.”


  A Louisiana state lawmaker says she's dropping out of the state treasurer's race because she's been diagnosed with breast cancer.Rep. Julie Stokes, a Jefferson Parish Republican, announced her decision and her diagnosis Thursday with a statement posted to her campaign website.Stokes says she'll have at least five months of chemotherapy treatment.

BEACH-RELATED INFECTION:   As people flock to beaches this month, some unseen threats to their health are living in the water. There’s a Flesh-Eating Bacteria that’s infected a  South Texas man who was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.    He is hospitalized for the Vibrio Vulnificus infection.   That’s a germ that lurks in the warm waters of the Gulf.  He’s being treated at a hospital in Galveston and may have to have his arm amputated.   Healthcare experts recommend beachgoers with broken skin, cuts, and scratches to avoid going into the water.