I voted for Bobby Jindal three times, contributed to his campaign and was upset when he lost to Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Now, I am very disappointed in his performance and would not vote for him again.
The first omen appeared when he opposed mandating the wearing of helmets by motorcyclists. Yet, helmets increase safety and reduce costs because of injury.
He opposed a bill to maintain a tax on cigarettes, the income of which was vital to some health programs.
He is so often out of the state on fundraising ventures that he should be paid only for the days he is in Louisiana working.
Recently, Jindal unwisely rejected federal Medicaid dollars that could have helped fund mental-health programs and aided the state hospitals budget. This folly ends up with Louisianians paying taxes that go to other state Medicaid programs, while we suffer for lack of funding.
Jindal is currently making massive cuts in the state hospital system. This will be destructive not only to medical care to the poor and uninsured, but will severely and permanently damage the training of physicians in Louisiana. Predictably, there will be devastating effects on LSU and Tulane Medical Schools to educate physicians.
With a reduction in hospital beds, and training programs for primary care and specialties, there will be a decrease in the number of new doctors who will establish practices in Louisiana, as most physicians practice in locations where they are trained. Too, the reduction of beds will cause many patients to go untreated or have the cost absorbed by private hospitals. Additionally, there will be a huge loss of jobs in health care, adding to the economic woes of our state. The Lallie Kemp Hospital in Independence is their only local source of jobs.
What is it about Jindal that he cannot comprehend this unfolding travesty? He appears obsessed with running for “higher office.” He apparently chooses to do or not do something depending on how it might affect his attractiveness to prominent Republicans, even though the choices hurt his people and his state.
What can be done to block what is going on in mental health care and the LSU State Hospital System? Unfortunately, we citizens have no real power other than to push for a recall or voice public opposition. He, however, has declared he does not care what his constituents think of him. State hospital administrators have been told to resign when they have opposed Jindal. LSU board members have been replaced. This is too much power.
The only hope is that the members of the state Legislature must rise up and oppose what is going on. They need to be challenged to protect us.
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