October 1, 2013, The Chapter of public healthcare facilities in Louisiana will be closed. “This is the last day for public hospitals in Louisiana. We’re the last ones,” State Sen Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, said after reviewing the agreements. The LSU public hospital system grew out of a Charity Hospital clinic that was founded in 1736 in New Orleans during the French colonial period. Details of much of the dismantling are covered by Elliott Stoneciper in his most recent post.
Thompson said “I would have kept the LSU model intact,” but the truth is, it’s just not going to happen. Except, Thompson believes members of the public will remain on the board of the private entities that will start managing public LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe beginning Oct. 1. (continued below)
The facts concerning the back-room political manipulations that have led Louisiana to determine that the system started in 1736 was no longer viable needs to be made clear to all citizens. It’s more than “Obamacare” and it’s more than shortages in the 2013-2015 budget models. The truth is not clear to even those who are healthcare experts and have researched the numbers presented by the Jindal “so called” experts. Somewhere in the bowels of the political gut we will uncover the deals that have been cut to divide the “Fat Hog” of healthcare and enrich those who are currently in power.
Our fear, and the belief of many political observers is that Jindal’s longtime political backroom manipulation artist, Timmy Teeple will be found to have been a major engineer in most of the deals that have and are still being cut. Our prayer is that the public outcry will assist in generating some legal obstacles that will temporarily block this fiasco. Eventually, the truth will be disclosed, but in the short term citizens will pay the price for the dismantlement of the public healthcare model which has provided a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.
It’s apparent the reality of privatization is coming, and the Biomedical Research Foundation, (BFR), based in Shreveport, will be taking over the north Louisiana facilities. The prayer of the public is that they will provide care for the poor and train new doctors. But Thompson stated, “I still have questions, but overall I’m confident.”
Stephen Skrivanos, BFR chairman, appears to be in control of the resultant facility management team, but the number for how much the hospitals would cost state taxpayers when managed by the foundation is only an estimate. Citizens must demand greater openness of the record of negotiations to build the new model. And, some sunshine must be cast on those who insist on darkness and covert tactics to bring about this “new” system.