Showing posts with label Bobby Jindal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bobby Jindal. Show all posts

Saturday, November 1, 2014

WELCOME TO LOUISIANA...WAIT...NOT QUITE

State officials sent a letter to members of the society [American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene] “disinviting” those who have been to the West African countries impacted by the deadly virus in the last three weeks or who have treated any patients on American soil.
....

“In Louisiana, we love to welcome visitors, but we must balance that hospitality with the protection of Louisiana residents and other visitors,” the administration officials wrote. “We do hope that you will consider a future visit to New Orleans, when we can welcome you appropriately.”
Jindal and crew know better than the experts.  Bill Gates is not afraid.  New Orleans depends on income from conferences and tourism for its very life.  Since the city tends to vote blue, the governor doesn't like New Orleans, and he doesn't care about the damage to tourism that will result from his ignorant decrees.

Jindal's hubris has no bounds. That was yesterday's reported stupidity, but there's more.
A major U.S. public health organization has become the second group impacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Ebola response policy as it prepares to bring 14,000 people to New Orleans.

State health officials advised the American Public Health Association that registrants recently returned from Ebola-stricken countries and those who have treated patients stateside should stay home.
Ai-yai-yai!  A convention of 14,000 public health experts will be welcomed only conditionally, because Bobby Jindal, once again, knows best how to safeguard the health of the citizens of Louisiana.  How unfortunate that the governor does not concern himself with the 257,000 people who would be eligible for health insurance if he implemented Medicaid expansion.  He won't, because he's running for president and advocates repeal the Affordable Care Act.  In the meantime, because of Bobby's ambition, people in Louisiana suffer.  Who knows but that among the hundreds of thousands of people with no health insurance, there are those who walk among us with communicable diseases?  If Jindal cared about public health safety in Louisiana, he'd allow people to buy health insurance that they can afford.

I'm not finished.  Not even ashes.
The incinerated remains and belongings of from Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in Dallas will not be allowed into a landfill in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Fear, fear, fear - governance by pumping up fear in the citizenry.  Yes, I know other states are doing it, too, but the authorities act out of ignorance.   It's the American way. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

"BEEFED UP" BOBBY

I’m a congenital pessimist, so don’t give me too much credit for drawing attention to this pending debacle-cum-comic-relief. Instead, all praise should go to National Review’s Eliana Johnson, who reported Monday evening that a source “close to” Jindal was willing to confirm that the “slight” governor “has gained 13 pounds over the past few months” because he’s “looking to beef up” now that the 2016 campaign is “on the horizon.”
....

To understand why the Jindal camp’s decision to share this little scooplet is so phenomenally bizarre and foreboding, rather than simply silly and weird, you need to keep in mind just how much of a disaster his tenure as Louisiana governor has been.
Finally a national publication focuses on the maladministration of Jindal, who governed, untrammeled by the Louisiana Legislature, according to Tea Party philosophy.  The legislature is complicit in every way, because they allowed Jindal to have his way in all his policies except the sales tax proposal.  Jindal's legacy in Louisiana will be the destruction of worthy institutions and programs due to budget cuts and privatizing and a budget nightmare that will be left to the next governor to untangle.

It is beyond laughable that Jindal thinks he will revive his campaign for president by gaining weight.  I have not once heard a Louisiana citizen criticize Jindal because he's not "beefed up" enough.  Keep in mind that though the people of Louisiana don't like him now, he was reelected to a second term by a landslide.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A LOOK AT THE REAL WORLD OF OBAMACARE AND MEDICAID EXPANSION IN LOUISIANA

From an excellent letter to the Advocate newspaper by David Hood, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Baton Rouge.
Several Louisiana health insurance companies have announced that they want to raise premium rates for some policies next year. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act are using this to again attack the law and its impacts on health insurance. But consumers — and voters — should keep a clear head and ask some basic questions.
....

The ACA requires companies to publicly justify rate increases of over 10 percent, and requires 80 percent of premium dollars be spent on health care, not administrative “overhead.” Consumers are better off because of those provisions, though some states like Louisiana have not allowed the law’s full benefits to be implemented.

Given that Louisiana has the third-highest rate of uninsured people in the nation, and that we rate 49th in poor health outcomes, we should support “Obamacare,” not fight it.
David Hood replaced Bobby Jindal as head of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals during the administration of Gov. Mike Foster, when Jindal was drafted by the Clinton administration as a bipartisan showpiece to serve as Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Hood serves as Senior Healthcare Analyst for the Public Affairs Research Council and knows whereof he speaks.

Here's the link to a video of David Hood speaking great good sense about Jindal's refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, which would provide health insurance for up to 400,000 uninsured citizens of Louisiana.  "What are we waiting for?" The funds that Jindal refuses go to other states.

Photo from Louisiana Public Square.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

GRET STET OF LOOSIANA LIKE ENRON?

When Jeff Skilling took over as President and Chief Operating Officer of Enron in June of 1990, he did so only after insisting that the company convert from conventional accounting principles to a method preferred by his former employer, McKinsey &Co.
....

On Thursday (Oct. 8), nearly seven years into his administration, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Iowa, R-New Hampshire, R-Anywhere but Louisiana) rolled out a new accounting formula with an alarmingly familiar ring to it.

Jindal, like Skilling, is a McKinsey alumnus.

Commissioner of Administration/Surrogate Gov. Kristy Kreme Nichols announced that the state, instead of having a deficit of $141 million as claimed by State Treasurer John Kennedy, will suddenly have a surplus of $178.5 million, a gaping difference of $319.5 million.

Enron is the perfect analogy. Who would ever have expected…? At least some of us fully expected some sort of cooking of the books by the Jindal maladministration to mask the budget disaster. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols’ public and arrogant mouthing off to State Treasurer John Kennedy when he noted the accounting irregularities is stunning.
Nichols: “I’m surprised the treasurer is not reporting this. The treasurer’s obligated to see that revenue available is reported to the public.  The money is available, and it’s cash on hand.  He should probably do a review of the accounts to ensure there are no more outstanding revenues he is not reporting.”

Kennedy: “The commissioner says the calculation has been inaccurate for years and it needs to be changed. They have to explain why we have been doing it wrong all these years and why the Revenue Estimating Conference is doing it wrong...I’m willing to listen”
Operating on the premise that she never has to explain, Nichols attacks anyone who disputes her policies or numbers.  Jindal & Co. have skirted the edge between legal and illegal for so long that I hope they have crossed the line and someone or someones go to prison, and I don’t often say such a thing or say it lightly.  If it's only one, I expect the one may not be Jindal.  If the citizens of the state and their leaders ever have the will, it will take decades to repair the destruction wreaked by the Jindal maladministration on institutions and programs in Louisiana.

Louisiana Voice has done brilliant reporting on politics in Louisiana, putting the local newspapers to shame.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DISPATCH FROM ANOTHER PLANET

A few months ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to Washington to introduce a new national health care proposal. While there, he arranged to meet privately with a small group of conservative journalists and policy experts at the offices of the Ethics and Public Policy Center think tank. 

Some of the experts engaged Jindal in debate about one of the plan's more arcane provisions. The back-and-forth between Jindal and his questioners went deep into the proposal's details, and it was soon clear that Jindal could dive as far into the health care policy weeds as any of the wonkiest wonks. He knew his stuff.
Never mind Jindal's eloquence in discussing arcane provisions and dives into the policy weeds of health care, did York explore how Bobby's arcane provisions and dives into the policy weeds in Louisiana are working out in real life with the Office of Group Benefits, the health insurance plan for state employees and retirees? Jindal and his appointees to high places are destroying the health insurance plan for 230,000 employees and retirees, so by all means Bobby should go national with his plan. His best bud, Tommy Teepel, says so, "He's an undervalued stock...” Indeed, Jindal is not popular in his home state, with his approval rating at 32%.

For further information on the health plan debacle, read Tom Aswell at Louisiana Voice, who has written article after article on the flimflammery of our absentee governor and the members of his inner circle, especially his Commissioner of Administration, Kristy Nichols, and Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Kathy Kliebert.  Where does the buck stop?   

Note: Byron York is a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner and a contributor to Fox News.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MAJOR SETBACKS FOR BOBBY JINDAL AND CREW

Tom Aswell, who writes at Louisiana Voice, has done excellent investigative reporting on the Jindal administration time and again, all the while putting big media in Louisiana to shame.
Former Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Bruce Greenstein has been indicted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office on nine counts of perjury stemming from a lengthy investigation of his involvement in the awarding of a $183 million contract to a company for which he once worked.

Greenstein is accused in four counts of lying under oath to the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearings of June 8 and June 17, 2011 and five counts of lying to an East Baton Rouge Parish Grand Jury on June 3 of this year.
With all the shenanigans of the Jindal administration, it’s hard for me to believe that nothing illegal took place, and the governor was completely out of the loop. He’s certainly run roughshod over Louisiana law and had to pull back several times when his policies were declared unconstitutional.

Of course, there must be proof of illegal activity (innocent until proven guilty), and justice must take its sometimes slow course, but, if I were Kristy Nichols, Commissioner of Administration, or anyone in Jindal’s inner circle, I’d be a bit worried. If I were Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of The Department of Health and Hospitals, I’d be worried. Since Jindal doesn’t brook disagreement, would he even pay attention to legal advice that was not to his liking?
As legal setbacks begin to mount for Gov. Bobby Jindal with the indictment of a former Jindal cabinet member coupled with an attorney general’s opinion that recently announced changes to state employee group health plans are most probably illegal, one political observer intimated to LouisianaVoice that Jindal’s political career “may be coming unraveled” even as he remains fixated on the White House.

The attorney general’s office on Tuesday (Sept. 23) released a legal opinion that could signal a devastating blow to the administration’s plans to overhaul health benefit plans offered through the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) to some 230,000 state employees, retirees and dependents.
Two stories in the same day, one of alleged criminality by a former member of Jindal's administration and another of possible gross mismanagement of changes to the Office of Group Benefits health plan, which will affect 230,000 state workers and retirees. It's about time the Jindal maladministration was brought up short!  Jindal and his inner circle must be reeling.  Then again, perhaps Jindal is too busy chasing his dream to become president to notice and will leave the troubles to be addressed by his staff.

Voters who prefer Republican governance, might want to have a look at the destruction wreaked by the Jindal maladministration and his enablers in the Louisiana State Legislature to see untrammeled, extremist conservative  governance in practice.  Would you want Jindal to be your president?

Monday, September 8, 2014

THANKS FOR THE LAUGH, GOVNA

Yesterday morning, my first laugh from the Sunday paper came not from the comics but rather from news of Gov. Jindal, who has not decided whether he's running for president, but is up there in Iowa and New Hampshire acting a lot like a candidate.
Stratham, N.H. — On a Saturday afternoon edging toward Louisiana hot, Gov. Bobby Jindal climbed onto a farm trailer in front of a weathered barn and spoke about party unity and the American dream to a couple hundred Republicans scattered across the grass by a cornfield.
Bobby Jindal in a farm trailer. Ha ha.

Oh wait!
This was no crowd of yokels...
All right, then. Jindal will have to work hard to stay on message - I should rather say "on messages" - different messages for different groups in the various states, because, so far as I can tell, he has no core principles but is a reed in the wind that goes with the wind wherever it blows.
In each of the last two national elections, a Christian-right candidate has scored a surprising success in Iowa only to crash and burn in New Hampshire, where independents as well as registered Republicans can vote in the primary.
Watch your step, Govna. It's is a minefield up there.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BOBBY JINDAL, FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS, CHASING RAINBOWS

In a move certain to bolster his national standing with conservatives, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal sued the Obama administration Wednesday, hoping to strike a blow against the controversial Common Core education standards and raising his profile as he builds a likely presidential campaign.
....

"The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative," Jindal said in a statement. "Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything."
Jindal, the governor who is always in campaign mode, filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration that will be paid for with the tax money of Louisiana citizens.  The governor lost two earlier suits in state courts to stop Common Core, so now it's on to federal court in another grandstanding, frivolous lawsuit at the expense of the people of the state.
When the Louisiana education board embraced the standards in 2010, Jindal supported them, saying they would help students prepare for college and careers. He reversed course earlier this year, calling the standards an effort by the Obama administration to meddle in state education policy.
The governor was for the standards before he was against them.  Neither the Louisiana Legislature, nor the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, nor State Superintendent of Education John White want to discontinue the use of Common Core standards, for which the teachers and students have been preparing for four years, with the first tests due in the spring of 2015.   Does Jindal ever give a thought to the teachers and students who operate under conditions of uncertainty because of his own personal ambition?  As blogger LouisianaVoice said, Jindal is a 100% absentee governor.  All his activities have to do with his fantasy of winning the Republican nomination for president, or at the very least vice-president, and then moving on to win election to higher office.
Neal McCluskey, of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, said he doesn't expect the lawsuit to be successful, even though he agrees with its premise.
....

"They've definitely got a steep hill to climb on this lawsuit," McCluskey said.
Exactly, but why would Jindal care?  It's our money.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NO BOTTOM TO THE SINKHOLE

In a sign of rising tensions over Common Core, state Superintendent of Education John White told Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday that he is being unfairly targeted personally for possible wrongdoing by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration and its allies.

“I am no stranger to politics, and I know that political rhetoric can be heated,” White said in a four-page letter to members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
....

White sent his letter on the same week that Smith said controversy over Common Core test contracts could spark charges of ethics violations by White and others in the state Department of Education.

Smith cast her concerns in general terms — a posting on Facebook and a telephone interview — and did not offer any documentation.

However, she said unnamed parties are investigating whether employees of the state Department of Education acted improperly.
How low will Governor Jindal sink in his vindictiveness toward his own appointee, Superintendent of Education John White, because of their disagreement over Common Core?

Are there any limits at all to what Kristy Nichols (Commissioner of Administration) will do and say to support her boss and his unbridled ambition? I guess not, or she'd quickly be out of a job, for Jindal brooks no dissent.

Jane Smith, a staunch supporter of the governor, lost her bid for election to a seat in the Louisiana Senate, so Jindal gave her the consolation prize of a seat on BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) to continue the march to destroy public education in Louisiana. Now, Jane Smith resorts to smearing John White by innuendo on Facebook.

Thanks Governor. You and your honchos are a real class act. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

BOBBY JINDAL - DICTATOR OF LOUISIANA

Igniting new controversy, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday he is ordering Louisiana out of the Common Core tests as part of a series of moves to drop the new academic standards after the Legislature refused to do so.

“We need to start this process over,” Jindal told reporters.

But state Superintendent of Education John White, who Jindal pushed for the job, took the unusual step of publicly charging that the governor is wrong on the law and that Common Core plans will continue for the 2014-15 school year.
Though I'm not a great fan of Common Core, what Jindal is about is disallowing intrusion by the feds in schools in Louisiana and allowing instructions in creationism, a 10,000 year young earth, and humans walking with dinosaurs in science classes because of pressure Christian fundamentalists including the likes of Tony Perkins and his Focus on the Family tribe. Also, students in some of the junk charter schools that the state supports with tuition vouchers will never pass the tests, but Jindal does not want anyone to know.

I hope his latest maneuver to throw out the tests without the approval of the State Superintendent of Education, John White, whom he appointed to great fanfare, and Chas Roemer, president of BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education), is illegal. I hope he does something illegal that has consequences, because Jindal is a virtual dictator, since even the usually supine state legislature would not vote to throw out Common Core, and he's determined to act on his own.

He's living a fantasy if he thinks he will be the candidate of the Republican Party, but, in the meantime, he is destroying the state. Since John White is defying Jindal at the moment, I would not be surprised if Jindal fired him.

Jindal is under great pressure from fundamentalist Christians like Tony Perkins and his gang. He graduated with a degree in biology from Brown University and was a Rhodes Scholar. Presumably, he knows the science, but he operates from pure personal lust to be president or, at the very least, vice-president of the US.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

CUPIDITY AND STUPIDITY


After waiting four days, Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday finally signed controversial legislation that provides an avenue for killing a coastal erosion lawsuit filed by a New Orleans-area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.

In so doing, he dismissed warnings from some legal experts, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and some parish officials that the measure will imperil claims against BP arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Sneakily done on a Friday slow news day. And if that wasn't enough...
Jindal signed Senate Bill 469 just hours before dealing a second blow to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which sued the oil and gas companies for their destruction of wetlands, by replacing Tim Doody, the board’s longtime president and a supporter of the suit, with someone who has previously worked in the energy industry.
Just what we need on the board - a watchdog FOR the energy industry, rather than a watchdog for the welfare of the people of the state.

WORST GOVERNOR EVER!

The Louisiana Legislature is very much complicit in passing the legislation in the first place, but I give credit to some members for trying to introduce sanity into the process. The state will be decades in recovering from the depredations of Bobby Jindal, if we ever do.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

MORE FREE MARKETS IN LOUISIANA

Sen. Jack Donahue R
The Louisiana Legislature is poised to take $4 million of your tax dollars away from supporting disabled Louisianians in order to give it to a corporate indycar event at a private racetrack owned by a multi-millionaire. That is not spin:
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.

“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.
Sen. Dan Claitor - R
NOLA Motorsports is owned by Laney Chouest, a multi-millionaire co-owner of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). He seems like a fine enough chap, one devoted to building a world class racetrack. Now, of course, he’s done it with his own fortune. Good for him. He even opened it to the public, so normal folks could go racing or go-karting around his prize.
At least Jack Donahue is honest to admit that he takes from the disabled to give to the rich. I'll give him that, though he appears to have no heart.  He hopes to find the money to replace what's been taken away from the disabled.  We shall see.

Of course, the governor can't break a promise to a wealthy supporter.  Jindal is forever paying out money to draw business to Louisiana. I posted earlier today about bringing the bananas back to the Port of New Orleans and paying a fertilizer plant (Oh joy!) to build in Louisiana. Jindal preaches loud and long about the free market, but why then does he pay companies to establish businesses in the state?  The payments are euphemistically labeled "incentives", but how is that the free market in operation?  And how do the governor and the legislature justify such a policy to disabled citizens and the parents of disabled children, not to speak of their own consciences.

THE FREE MARKET IN LOUISIANA

If the free market is free, why do we have to pay companies to move to Louisiana?
The Port of New Orleans is set to regain its position as one of the main entryways for the billions of bananas imported to the United States each year, a windfall officials hope will create a few hundred new jobs and boost shipping container traffic in New Orleans by as much as 15 percent.
....

Jindal cited three types of incentives that eventually helped persuade the company to relocate. He said Louisiana will give Chiquita $11.3 million to help offset the company’s costs over the next 10 years. That grant will be performance-based, tied to the number of units the company actually ends up shipping through the port, with clawback provisions in case of shortfalls.
(My emphasis)
Chiquita Brands is the old United Fruit Company, which once owned the governments of several Central American countries.   My father was born in Honduras when his parents were visiting relatives there who worked for United Fruit.

Here's another.
AM Agrigen LLC, a Delaware company formed in 2013, has an option on 650 acres in St. Charles Parish as the site of a proposed $1.2 billion fertilizer plant.

LED said it began working with AM Agrigen on the project in October 2012. To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company a performance-based $5.6 million grant to offset infrastructure costs of the project. AM Agrigen would receive help from the state’s LED FastStart workforce training program and is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.  (My emphasis)
Great care must be taken by fertilizer plants to prevent air pollution and soil pollution.  The plant will be located near the Mississippi River, the source of drinking water for a large population.  Should any of the chemical containers used in the manufacturing process spring a leak,  river water contamination would result.  Further there is the danger of explosion and fire unless fertilizer plants are duly inspected and held accountable for maintenance of equipment and safe working conditions.

Louisiana's history of weak regulation and oversight of manufacturers is less than encouraging for citizens who live near the the construction site of the plant, but I hope for the best.  I understand the need for well-paying jobs, but the jobs should not come at the cost of quality of life for those who live near the plant.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE ABOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION

Promoting it as a health care and economic issue, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed Tuesday for Louisiana voters to decide the fate of Medicaid expansion.

“The governor has clearly put his political future ahead of the future of the state of Louisiana,” said Landrieu, D-La. “Let the people decide what is fair, whether they want to expand and use over $16 billion” in federal funds.

“It’s kind of our last hope to let the people make the decision. It’s not too much to ask,” Landrieu said.
Bobby Jindal won't allow Medicaid expansion in the State of Louisiana, despite gaping holes in the state budget for health care, so will the Louisiana Legislature have the courage to let the people decide? The lawmakers who worry about any association with Obamacare can then wash their hands of responsibility and blame the expansion on the people of the state.
Landrieu said the proposition makes good economic sense. “In order to have a strong workforce, you need a healthy workforce,” she said. She said the state is rejecting $16 billion available “to strengthen the workforce.”

The Medicaid expansion also would bring 15,600 new health care-related jobs in 2016 and help sustain financially struggling rural hospitals, Landrieu said.
Governor Jindal chooses to put his personal ambitions for national office ahead of the nearly 250,000 citizens of Louisiana who need health insurance, so it's way past time for the legislators to do the job the people of the state elected them to do, for which they're paid salaries with our tax money, and let the people decide.

Louisiana has far too many laws embedded in the state constitution, but, in this instance, there is no way around Bobby Jindal's refusal to help the citizens of the state other than one more constitutional amendment.

UPDATE: The Louisiana Legislature will not let the people decide.
An attempt to go around Gov. Bobby Jindal and put the issue of Medicaid expansion to Louisiana voters failed to clear its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

After more than four hours of testimony, most of it from supporters, including leading Democratic Party elected officials, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 6-2 to defer action on the proposed constitutional amendment, effectively killing it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

BOBBY JINDAL - STILL NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

Hours before heading to New Hampshire, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Thursday that he is launching a federal political action committee.

Jindal’s press office ignored requests to speak to the governor about the creation of Stand Up to Washington. However, in an 18-minute interview with the national website Politico, Jindal said the PAC will focus on helping conservative candidates run for Congress.
The new PAC will only be used to support Republican candidates for governor and Congress and make friends and influence people in the event that Bobby, at sometime in the future, announces that he is running for president, which, despite his denials, he has actually been doing since the day he was elected governor of Louisiana.

Jindal rarely meets with local reporters, because they know too much, which is why Politico has the big "scoop".

One of Louisiana's own, the wise Stephanie Grace, writes about Jindal's non-announcement announcement in The Advocate.
Monday was particularly jam-packed. He started the day by publishing an op-ed in the National Review harshly critiquing Obama’s handling of the Crimea crisis. He ended with a taped interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on energy policy.

In between, he somehow found a few minutes to swing by the State Capitol, open the annual legislative session and outline the least ambitious agenda of his two terms.
....

Jindal may be going big nationally, but his days of grand ambition for Louisiana feel like a distant memory. Almost as distant as his old refrain that he has the job he wants.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BOBBY JINDAL TWEETS


Only until the weak are born. If parents in Louisiana need help for the child after birth, well good luck with that. Gov. Jindal will not implement Medicaid Expansion, though it would not cost the state one cent for 9 years, and thereafter only 10% of the expenses of the programs.


The group that awarded Louisiana the "prize",  Americans United for Life, apparently does not follow up on the care given to the "weakest and most vulnerable among us" after they're born, or they would remind Gov. Jindal that babies, indeed all vulnerable human beings among us, need care throughout their lives after they're brought into the world.

At least one Louisiana state senator is trying to provide health insurance for low income people in Louisiana. 
State Sen. Ben Nevers said Tuesday that he would propose two constitutional amendments aimed at guaranteeing that low income Louisiana adults get basic health care coverage.

Nevers, D-Bogalusa, said he wants Louisiana voters to either authorize expansion of the state Medicaid program called for in the federal health care revamp or to provide health care coverage for residents whose income falls below the federal poverty level.
....

The Kaiser Commission estimates 242,000 Louisiana residents, who make too much for Medicaid but too little to purchase adequate insurance, would qualify for Medicaid coverage through the expansion. For an individual, 100 percent of the federal poverty level is $11,490. For a family of four, it’s $23,550. At 138 percent for an individual it’s $15,856 and family of four $32,499.

Nevers said people are ending up in hospital emergency rooms with serious illnesses because of lack of health care and that “cost all of us millions.”
There's no such thing as free emergency room care; someone pays.  I hope other legislators take note and support Sen. Nevers in his efforts to provide health insurance for those who cannot afford the premiums, since the governor refuses to address the problem.

And further, if you click the link, you will read about two success stories from people who were able to buy affordable health insurance through - Gasp! - the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare.
'Tierney Brinkman, a New Orleans server and bartender, said she went without insurance for 10 years. “It’s not that I didn’t want it. I had a pre-existing condition,” said Brinkman, explaining she had lumps in her breast and breast cancer in her family. She said either no company would insure her or the monthly premiums were “well beyond my means.” That 10 years without coverage was “terrifying,” she said.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, Brinkman said she now has a quality plan with a low deductible: $108 a month.
Despite the horror stories, the ACA is working as it should to provide health insurance for those who previously could not obtain coverage or who paid very high premiums because of preexisting conditions.  Insurance, any insurance, is about spreading the risk throughout a large number of people.  For the young and healthy who say they don't need health insurance, I remind them that even among their age group, even if only a small number, some will be diagnosed with a medical condition that requires expensive treatment.  Further, no one is able to predict an accidental injury that would require long-term medical treatment.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

DON'T WANT TO WAIT? PAY EXTRA TO A PRIVATE COMPANY

Heading to a state motor vehicles office to get your driver’s license? A legislative report suggests you might want to bring a book or Kindle device and expect a wait.

Wait times at locations for the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles have shot up to as much as 1½ hours in some places as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration slashed staffing levels amid continuing state budget cuts, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Office.

Here's the money quote.
OMV is rolling out a program that allows a public tag agent — a private business that processes vehicle title registrations — to also renew state driver’s licenses, for up to an extra $18 fee."
Reduce the number of state employees and, if citizens are annoyed by long waiting times, provide more convenient service by hiring a private, profit-making business, and make them pay extra for a service that the state should provide for all citizens in a timely manner. There you have it. Shrinking government and privatization in action. Thank you, Governor Jindal.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

JINDAL ON THE SUSPENSION OF PHIL ROBERTSON FROM "DUCK DYNASTY"

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) rushed to the defense of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson after he was suspended from the reality show by A&E Wednesday for a series of remarks he made about gays and non-Christians in an interview with GQ Magazine.
....

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with...."
Here's our governor with more mutterings that seemingly pass out of his lips before filtering through his Rhodes Scholar brain.

Please forgive me for never having heard of "Duck Dynasty" and not knowing who the hell Phil Robertson was before the brouhaha. When I say I seldom watch TV, I speak truth. Plus, few people exist who know less about pop culture and celebs than I do, but anyway here's our guv for ya.


Jindal appears to be reinforcing his anti-gay creds, because he plans to run for president and hopes for Tea Party support.  It seems to me that Jindal will say almost anything if it will gain him political advantage, but he may truly believe the words he spoke in defense of Robertson.  If the governor was smart, he'd know he has no chance of becoming president or vice-president, but he chooses to live in fantasy land.

Monday, December 9, 2013

MY LETTER TO GOV. BOBBY JINDAL ON THE MEDICAID EXPANSION


Dear Gov. Jindal,

Please change your mind and accept the Medicaid expansion that would provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of citizens of Louisiana and which would also create much-needed jobs in the state. Whatever your ideological objections to the program, Louisiana stands to lose 1.566 billion dollars. That's billions lost to the state budget that is often in arrears and requires last minute cuts in programs and institutions that have already been cut to the bone.

Whatever may happen in nine years when the state has to pay 10% of the costs, you will be long gone from the scene, but citizens in Louisiana need health insurance right now. Without the Medicaid expansion, people in Louisiana will almost certainly die from treatable diseases and conditions because of the lack of health insurance, either because treatment was started too late, or because treatment was inadequate.

Whatever your intentions, on the surface it appears that you refuse the money for the sake of furthering your political ambitions on the national scene. Since you first assumed the office of governor in Louisiana, your extensive travels campaigning around the country for political purposes leave you little time in the state where you were elected. Isn't it time to pay attention to the needs of the people of the state?

You are a Catholic Christian, Gov. Jindal. Have you read the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church or listened to the words of Pope Francis about the poor and downtrodden? I simply cannot comprehend your decision not to accept the funds. A good many Republican governors have laid aside ideology and political ambitions and chosen to accept the Medicaid expansion for the sake of their poor and low income citizens. Why not you?

Sincerely,

June Butler

UPDATE FROM TPM:

Low income people want to obtain health insurance...
But in 25 states, that robust interest has a downside: Navigators are forced to tell more and more people that they probably won't be able to get covered because their states, all of which had a GOP-controlled legislative chamber or governor, have refused to expand Medicaid. Lynne Thorp, who is overseeing the University of South Florida's navigator program in that state, told TPM that about one in four people who contact her team fall into that Medicaid gap.

"Those are hardest phone calls because it doesn't make any sense to them," Thorp said. "We have to explain that they fall into this gap where this program can't assist them."
Shameful.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

LOUISIANA WILL LOSE OVER 1 BILLION BY REFUSING TO IMPLEMENT MEDICAID EXPANSION

States not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare will be collectively lose more than $35 billion in federal funds in 2022 alone, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.
....

The Commonwealth Fund further explained the study's methodology as follows:
Federal funds that pay for state Medicaid programs are raised through federal general revenue collection—taxes paid by residents in all states—whether or not they participate in the program. Therefore, taxpayers in states not participating in the Medicaid expansion will bear a share of the overall cost, without benefitting from the program. Glied and Ma estimated the net loss of federal funds to states that do not expand Medicaid by using projected federal Medicaid spending in each state and calculating the federal Medicaid-related taxes paid by each state.
According to Healthrender, Louisiana stands to lose 1.566 billion dollars.  That's billions lost to the state budget that is often in arrears and requires last minute cuts in programs and institutions that have already been cut to the bone.

Almost certainly people in Louisiana will die from treatable diseases and conditions because of the lack of health insurance, either because treatment was started too late, or because treatment was inadequate.

So far as I can make out, Jindal refuses the money for the sake of furthering his political ambitions on the national scene.  He has campaigned around the country since he first assumed the office of governor in Louisiana.  His extensive travels for political purposes leave him little time in the state which he governs so incompetently.  Even so, Jindal has managed to destroy or maim multiple institutions and programs that took decades to build and will require generations to recover if the people of Louisiana ever have the will to elect governors who will build up rather than destroy.