by 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.
For 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 BRF came and went, here are other articles I wrote for online publication:
August 7, 2013 ….. AP Report on Biomed Takeover of LSU Hospital
August 25, 2013 ….. Biomed Deal is Not Privatization
August 30, 2013 ….. Takeover of Shreveport and Monroe State Hospitals
September 24, 2013 ….. Biomed Hospital Board Property Tax and More
September 27, 2013 ….. Revealing New Contract Documents for State Biomed Deal
October 21, 2013 ….. More Evidence Biomed Hospitals Not Privatized, and Worse
January 9, 2014 ….. As the Hospital Privatization and Biomed Worm Turns
Today’s reports from and by various Gannett News properties detail how the easily understandable demise of the original deal is unfolding. The Biomedical Research Foundation is publicly vowing a scorched-earth response, and LSU has now begun harvesting the crop its Board of Supervisors so disastrously planted.
Those depending on our public hospital safety net are likely victims of this, one of the most outrageous political flame-outs in Louisiana history.
Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and there a plenty of bad guys who pushed the deal for awful, self-serving reasons. Notwithstanding any of those facts, Governor Jindal delivered up this hoax, like so many notable others in his too many years in office.
We should remember that some government watchdogs and traditional news media were never fooled, and did everything they could to prevent this. What we might care to ponder, therefore, is why so many other players dove into this noxious tank, including some notables in the traditional news media, the legislature, those at LSU other than the Jindal-owned Board of Supervisors, and many government entities and establishment types, particularly in Caddo Parish.
Now our hope shifts, once again, to what should have happened in the first place. If we still assume privatization is the best future for these hospitals, which I do, the public awaits a wide-open, completely transparent bidding process for, as it is now called, University Health.
(Elliott Stonecipher is in no way affiliated with any political party, and has long been a registered “Other,” or Independent. He has no client or other relationships which in any way influence his selections of subjects or the content of any article. His work is strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted. Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.)