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




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



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





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. Go ahead and view it now through this website and also get in contact with the best lawyers here.

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


Past to Present – Evils We Tolerate


Edwards--Crook-Wins-TP-headlineby Marion Marks

When Edwin Edwards was elected Governor, running against David Duke, we learned “Vote for the Crook!” Statewide, voters understood un-indicted Edwards, closely aligned to shady deals and abuse of office for years, was NOT the evil of challenger David Duke. Edwards built a coalition of forces united in preventing worse evils from control of the reins of government.

Edwards, in the October primary of 1991 with incumbent Governor Buddy Roemer, Clyde Holloway and others, engineered the eventual Edwards-Duke run-off. DUKE-RACISTDuke had his best showing statewide and captured the majority of white voters, who basically selected racist, self-serving economic or bigoted tenants of Duke’s platform over what proved public-spirited and more honorable Edwards campaign rhetoric. Louisiana did “Vote for the Crook!”
Read more


LSU Board Approves Rewritten Hospital Contracts

The way it was...
Charity, the way it was…

by Brad Ott, New Orleans

LSU’s Board of Supervisors, the governing entity of the state system, affirmed by vote today new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services. Citizens will now be responsible for finding services in some cases at facilities across the state if local hospitals chose to drop unprofitable health care programs.

The Board of Supervisors approved the rewritten contracts without objection and with almost no open discussion. The reworked deals are part of an effort by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to win federal approval to keep Medicaid dollars paying for the privatization arrangements.

The Heart of Health Care for 75% of the region
Shreveport Medical Center – University Health?

The contracts covered that have been in dispute govern the management transfer of hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Bogalusa, Shreveport and Monroe Read more


DHH Document Shredding Questioned


by Tom Aswell

shredder_in_actionThe seventh floor of the Bienville Building on North 4th Street in Baton Rouge became a beehive of activity recently when employees of a temporary personnel service moved in to begin shredding “tons of documents,” according to an employee of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

DHH is headquartered in the Bienville Building and the source told LouisianaVoice that the shredding, undertaken “under the guise of being efficient and cleaning,” involves documents that date back as far as the 1980s.

“The significance of this is that this is occurring in the midst of a lawsuit (that) DHH is filing against Molina in relation to activities that go back to the ‘80s,” the employee said. “Everyone is questioning the timing. Westaff temporary people have been in the copy room of the seventh floor for approximately two weeks now, all day, every day, shredding documents.”

Special treatment docs!
Special treatment docs!

The employee said so many documents were being shredded “that the floor is full of dust and employees have been ordered to clean on designated cleaning days” and that locked garbage cans filled with shredded documents “are being hauled from the building daily.”

LouisianaVoice submitted an inquiry to DHH that requested an Read more