Category: Healthcare Politics

Zika Virus Dangers in Shreveport

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

by William B. Wiener, Jr.

For all inhabitants of Shreveport, the City Council, and Mayor Tyler, the issues of the Zika virus will reach critical mass if we fail to understand the potential dangers and begin to address them properly. We must remember that in 1873 Shreveport was devastated by the Yellow Fever epidemic which killed one-fourth of Shreveport’s population.

Yellow fever is initially spread by mosquitoes, then human to human, and Yellow Fever is active today and potentially spreading Read more

SHREVEPORT AND LOUISIANA RATED POORLY IN COMMUNITY WELL-BEING AND ACCESS TO CARE RANKINGS

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It should come as no surprise to the educated reader that Louisiana generally fares poorly in national rankings of just about anything– but its still not fun to be reminded by the release of another national study. This time it is the 2015 State and Community Well-Being Rankings report produced by a collaboration between Gallup, Healthways and Health eVillages.

The Well-Beings Index was based on more than 2.3 million surveys that asked people how they feel and experience their daily lives. Well-being, according to the report, correlates with healthcare utilization and cost as well as productivity, which is measured by absenteeism and job performance.wellbeing-index-components

Louisiana was ranked number 42; Hawaii was ranked number 1 and West Virginia number 50. Naples-Marco Read more

Electric Circuit Lessons & The Incomplete Political Diagram Logic

Franklin-Key-Kite-colorby Marion Marks

Electricity — we depend on it every minute of every day. And yet to many of us, electricity seems a mysterious and even magical force. Before Ben Franklin did his famous and very dangerous kite flying experiment, electricity was thought to be a type of fire.” – WGBH lesson plan for 3rd and 6th graders.

The anger and frustration in the American political process is as dangerous as the electricity harnessed by Ben Franklin’s famous key on a kite.

Multiply by thousands!
Multiply by millions!

Raw energy and unbridled power pushes today’s anxious voters who believe their resources and energy have been squandered as they are herded through the election process. These voters are disgusted and frustrated with the election process and the politicians they believe should get out of the way of progress, yet they continue to play the game. Particularly the young and other newly engaged voters feel they have been disenfranchised, yet they find hope in the campaigns and words of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Amazingly, these voters don’t look at details of candidate platforms or the ramifications of electing these candidates – they are enamored and entertained.

Frustration runs a course that is not limited to a single party. Rather, presidential primary Read more

Jindal’s North Louisiana Hospital Hoax Collapsing

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

In spectacular fashion, the badly misnamed “hospital privatization” scheme of Governor Bobby Jindal in Shreveport and Monroe is now collapsing.  The appalling scenario now playing out is about as surprising as any given day’s embarrassing headline about Governor Jindal’s faux presidential campaign.

Success-Failure IntersectionFor any who are interested, and missed them in 2013 and early 2014, here are my initial three articles on the subject, published in The Forum Newsweekly and/or on Bob Mann’s Something Like the Truth and Marion Marks’ Forward-Now blog:

July 9, 2013, “LSU Hospital and Medical School”

July 23, 2013, “LSU Medical School Deal, Beware Toxic Politics”

August 21, 2013, “Of Gods, Angels and the Shreveport Biomedical Research Foundation”

As more and more details of the Jindal op became available, and the October 1, 2013, takeover by Read more

Why Caddo Voted the Way They Did

sheep-Vote-NO-CPSBlby Marion Marks

Monday morning quarterbacks always have 20-20 vision interpreting election results, and the two bond issues Saturday, that had different results, are no exception. Here is my simplistic interpretation of why one passed and another failed.

The Biomed Bond which cost taxpayers the least of the two passed by a handy margin for the following reasons:

  1. Well-targeted print, air-wave advertising messages that were easy for general public to translate into a “Yes” vote. Read more

BIOMED FOUNDATION WANTS TAX DOLLARS WITH LIMITED DISCLOSURE

Opinion by John SettleThe Biomedical Research Foundation of North Louisiana (“Biomed”) is doing a great job – – if one does not believe that, just ask Biomed. But if a taxpayer wants more information to make a self determination of just how well Biomed is spending tax dollars – well, good luck.

On January 13 of this year, a simple public records request (PRR) was faxed to the office of the president of Biomed; the request was “to please provide detailed income and expense statements for 2014. Also provide listing of tenants and amount of space.” Under the Louisiana Public Records Act, a response was due no later than January 21st. A follow up fax was sent on January 28, advising that the January 13 PRR was overdue and that if not answered by Thursday January 28 litigation would be filed to require a response.

Answers NExt ExitDr. John F. George, Jr. (Biomed President/CEO) sent a fax on the deadline day that basically was a dodge. George provided a website address that contained the tax returns of Biomed for 2011, 2012, and 2013 – citing “IRS guidelines governing the public disclosure requirements of exempt organizations.” He also included a copy of Biomed’s 2014 annual report.

Biomed has recently persuaded the Caddo Commissioner to put a 1.74 million tax renewal Read more

BIOMED TAX RENEWAL – MONEY GRAB?

 OR, GOOD PLANNING?

John Settle Opinion Slug

In case Caddo voters are planning ahead, they can now mark May 2nd on calendars to vote on a tax renewal. And if that is not exciting enough, they may have a Caddo Parish School Board bond package to also consider on that day. This May could be a banner month for Caddo residents who do not own real estate – – getting to burden their fellow citizens who are landowners with more taxes.

Preaching from the Front-BioMedIn what must be the earliest vote on a tax renewal, the Biomedical Research Foundation of North Louisiana (“Biomed”) successfully convinced the Caddo Commission to schedule a vote for 1.74 tax renewal for a period of 15 years – – beginning in 2018; yes 3 years from Read more