On Monday December 10, 2012 Bobby Jindal effectively put a fork in the sacred cow - known as the Charity Hospital System - that developed over a more than 270 year period.
Jindal, long a proponent of privatizing everything within view, took advantage of a recent federal reduction in Medicaid dollars to the State, as an excuse to unnecessarily turbocharge his mission. The term is opportunistic.
Hmmm, taking advantage of a disaster as an opportunity to push through politically unpopular policy. Where have we seen this before? No one can forget how the State and LSU used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to shutter the existing building when it was ready to go back into operation three weeks after the storm.
In New Orleans, as of last Monday, Jindal's privatization mission is just steps away from turning our single payer safety-net hospital over to a Louisiana Children's Medical Center [LCMC] - a non-profit corporation- effectively transforming a sacred cow into a cash cow to be milked by a non-transparent and non-accountable entity as stated in an MOU signed by: "LSU Board of Supervisors, Louisiana Children’s Medical Center and others relating to the future operation of the Interim Louisiana Hospital and, upon its completion, the new University Medical Center in New Orleans."
The MOU specifically states:
Jindal's rubber-stampers, otherwise known as the LSU Board of Supervisors, will bless this MOU [and two other Charity System hospitals] at a special meeting December 14, 2012 at 10:00 am.
Another interesting paragraph in the MOU gives us over here at SaveCharityHospital.com pause.
Is this a sign that Mr. Jindal will be obligated to accept the Federal Medicaid Reimbursement? If so, will the real Mr. Jindal please stand up?
Meanwhile... back at the UMC construction site.... with patients and residents farmed out to other private providers and institutions, what the heck is that suburban monstrosity going up in Lower MidCity for?
Perhaps the best answer to date lies with LSU Health Science Center Chancellor Larry Hollier - the only Charity Hospital official not fired or demoted by the Governor; or ....retired. WWLTV reported on June 10th, 2011 in the following interview:
""They're missing the point," said Larry Hollier, MD, chancellor of the LSU Health Science Center. "This is not trying to build a community hospital. This is trying to build a destination hospital like UAB in Birmingham, like MD Anderson in Houston.""
A destination Hospital that will be leased to a private corporation with no accountability to report on their promise that any surpluses resulting from this Private Public Partnership will be invested back into the UMC Hospital.
Is BioDistrict New Orleans - ostensibly a boundary line with a little more than $12 000 dollars in it's bank account - encompassing 1500 acres of mostly MidCity, Gert Town and Zion City - ready to compete with Houston and Birmingham? More than one article suggests that New Orleans may have already missed that opportunity boat.
Tight State Funds Hamper Development of New Orleans
Perhaps more clarity surrounding the plethora of questions circulating in the mediasphere will be answered this Thursday, December 13 when all eyes will be on what may be one of the last public meetings of the UMCMC board if this MOU is passed as it is currently written.
LSU Health Sciences CenterLions Clinic Building,
2020 Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Isadore Cohn Student Learning Center,
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