Bitter disputes often center around large amounts of money. When it's a multi billion dollar government program, you can bet the split will be along party lines. Louisiana’s Medicaid program accounts for 25% of the state's operating budget, and serves 1/3 of its citizens.

The contracts involved are worth an estimated $21 billion. The Edwards administration has been under fire from Republican critics for its management of the program since 2016. Chief procurement officer Paula Tregre says the health department failed to follow state law and its own guidelines in choosing which insurance companies would get the contracts.

Tregre said in her January 17 decision, The procurement process was “fatally flawed.” The program is currently operating under emergency contracts. The dispute will likely end up in court.

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