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Mukherjee reports: "This week, potential Republican presidential contender Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) rolled out one of the country's most regressive tax proposals."

Potential Republican presidential contender and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. (photo: ThinkProgress)
Potential Republican presidential contender and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. (photo: ThinkProgress)



Louisiana Will Stop Providing End of Life Care to Low-Income Americans

By Sy Mukherjee, ThinkProgress

20 January 13

 

his week, potential Republican presidential contender Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) rolled out one of the country's most regressive tax proposals, a plan that would shift Louisiana's tax burden away from the wealthy by raising taxes on the bottom 80 percent of state residents. Apparently, the "austerity" measures don't stop there.

According to New Orleans CBS affiliate WWLTV, Louisiana residents over the age of 21 who are on Medicaid - the public insurance program for disabled and poor Americans - will stop receiving hospice care benefits at the end of this month. That means that low-income Louisianans with terminal illnesses, debilitating disabilities, and chronic long-term medical problems will no longer have access to the essential home and medical care that they need.

And while the cuts are intended to help the state balance its budget, critics point out that it is more likely to increase health care costs by pushing previously-insured Americans with costly medical conditions into private hospitals and emergency rooms where they will not be able to afford their treatments:

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals say the elimination of hospice care for Medicaid patients will mean nearly $3.3 million in savings this year alone. In 2014, it'll mean $8.3 million in savings.

However, Burns believes the state will end up paying much more with terminally ill patients forced to turn to local hospitals.

"They'll just go in and out of the hospitals, maybe go to ICUs, and they won't be able to have their family around them with hospice care," said Burns. [...]

DHH says there were 5,819 recipients of hospice services through Louisiana Medicaid in the previous fiscal year.

By the Louisiana DHH's own estimates, the cuts to Medicaid hospice-care beneficiaries are only expected to reduce the state's projected $900 million budget deficit by 0.92 percent in 2014. These cuts will be imposed on top of the already draconian cutbacks to public education and health care programs that Jindal has in the pipeline.

Battles over Medicaid funding, particularly for those in need of long-term, specialized care, are nothing new. State budget cuts to the Medicaid program have long left disabled and special-needs Americans by the wayside, even in progressive states such as California. But one of the easiest ways for states to address their perennial public health funding issues is for them to participate in Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which the federal government will fund for the first several years.

Jindal, however, has refused to participate in the expansion, calling it a "bad idea" that is "expensive for taxpayers." Ironically, Louisiana already takes in considerably more tax revenue from the federal government than it pays out, and Jindal's Medicaid cuts - coupled with his refusal to expand Medicaid - will likely exacerbate that dynamic by forcing Americans across the country to subsidize care for Louisianans who have fallen through the safety net.

 

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+123 # NanFan 2013-01-20 14:17
Shame on you, Jindal!

What are you thinking? Not about the people, that's for sure.

N.
 
 
+112 # MainStreetMentor 2013-01-20 15:01
By all means, Governor ... Save the money and discard and ignore the needs of humans. Typical conservative RepubTeacan logic: Money considerations ALWAYS come first.
 
 
+173 # jmac9 2013-01-20 15:25
Hey here's the Republican 'death panels' of Palin hysteria come to realization by Republicans.

Republicans are going to let grannie suffer and die.

Republicans don't care about you...any of you -
they care about profit.

Any country-state that makes access to health care dependent on money, profit, class status - is a fascist state.

Jindal - just another Republican criminal - notice how the numbers just don't add up - typical Republican fraud and you...all of you suffer because of them.

What's the focus of life, of government? People or profit.

To Republicans profit is more important than you.
 
 
+40 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-21 03:40
Thank you, jmac9. Hurts and then some, this 'forget healthcare, but greedfare's still great' cut. And, especially hurt are those most fragile and suffering.

ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN (especially since pol. clowns like this 'what the hell, let's kill' governor are now so easily election frauded into office, just like a non-elected, fully scripted puppet whore named 'W')
 
 
+44 # ruttaro 2013-01-21 13:28
Alan Grayson's description of Republican health care was uncanningly correct: "Go home and Die!" Gee, he caught a lot of flack for that and even lost his reelection partly because he was called too divisive. I call it drawing a clear distinction and thankfully Grayson is back. When Jindahl runs he will now have to defend the Republican Helath Care plan that Grayson so accurately described. Run, Bobby, Run...into the shadowy margins where Sara and Mitt await your arrival.
 
 
+10 # 666 2013-01-21 19:22
sorry jmac9, "death panels" are only for those who can afford socialized medicine ;-)

workers of the world, unite!
 
 
+35 # Scott479 2013-01-20 18:47
The men and women who passed such legislation need to be given a reason to require hospice care. I doubt it would have passed if Honey Boo Boo wasn't the most watched show in all of LA.
 
 
+6 # SundownLF 2013-01-22 14:25
Quoting Scott479:
I doubt it would have passed if Honey Boo Boo wasn't the most watched show in all of LA.


Never watched it; never will.
 
 
+74 # kenecon 2013-01-20 21:55
This guy is a congenital dickhead. Hopefully, the SOB will get his last just deserts.
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 22:44
May he get what he has created for others of low income. May he die the death of ten thousand screams. May his camel go for sixty days without water. May he not reach heaven's gate before the Devil catches up with him.
 
 
+32 # Evolouie 2013-01-20 22:59
Piyush is his name, Why wont they call him by his name, Piyush Jindal ?
 
 
-61 # MidwestTom 2013-01-20 23:01
Ay the state level what would you cut? Unfortunately, this is probably just the start if state government cuts. Most states are trying to balance their budgets. However, everyone can move to Illinois, recently named the Most Disfunctional State" according to Bloomberg. Louisiana had to cut somewhere, they chose seniors over children, expect more of the some in other states.
 
 
+74 # MJnevetS 2013-01-21 07:01
_where would I cut? How about the tax breaks to big oil which are in the billions of dollars? How about NOT implementing his new tax incentive program which is a business billion dollar give away?
 
 
+39 # CL38 2013-01-21 10:14
More republican divide and conquer tactics. Now playing children off seniors.

We need to stop gerrymandering that allows Republicans who couldn't get elected, to steal seats, hold power and collect salaries at tax payer expense.
 
 
+11 # Ninure 2013-01-21 11:17
And you don't call that "death panels"?

I guess that also means "you" have to call Obama something other than Hitler...
 
 
+24 # dkonstruction 2013-01-22 09:32
Quoting MidwestTom:
Ay the state level what would you cut? Unfortunately, this is probably just the start if state government cuts. Most states are trying to balance their budgets. However, everyone can move to Illinois, recently named the Most Disfunctional State" according to Bloomberg. Louisiana had to cut somewhere, they chose seniors over children, expect more of the some in other states.


If Louisiana did not have a top state tax rate of 6% for all those making more than $100,000 (i.e., they do not tax anyone making $500,000 or $1,000,000 a year any more than those making $100,000) they might not have to make nay cuts at all. Not to mention the fact that if the state had their own publicly-owned and controlled state bank (like the State Bank of North Dakota) they would never have to borrow (at high interest rates) from Wall Street or the private bond markets which would also save the state a ton of money so that again perhaps they would not have to make any cuts to vitally needed social programs. You present the situation as if the state had no choice (which is just the way that both parties try and present it) when in fact this simply isn't true.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 22:47
Cut the damned so-called "Defense Budget" in half, stop screwing around with Medicare and no one will have to get hurt or be slighted.
 
 
+113 # jJLLA 2013-01-20 23:03
Another great idea from those "caring", "life affirming" born agains. Jindahl speaks of his "deep Christian faith" with pride and then will gladly sit back while thousands painfully suffer and die without treatment. With examples like this, no wonder people leave traditional religion every day.

As a person who physically and financially nursed a father with cancer and a mother with MS for 26 years, I know what is in store - for the ill and their families. This will only bring more financial, emotional and physical hardship on the sick and their care-givers. How anyone who isn't a gazillionaire can vote GOP these days is beyond me.
 
 
+35 # mudbike 2013-01-21 07:47
You're right that only the extremely wealthy benefit with repugnantkins. The stupidest voters of all are those upper middle class people, engineers. small business people, etc. who vote repugnantkin against their own interest for the job exporting 'job creators.'
 
 
0 # joyce71922 2013-01-21 07:51
not every christian is like that it dusturbs me that you discriminate againat all christians you might as well be racist. that is certainly not what most christians i know believe.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 22:56
I'm a caregiver of a 92 year old mother and can only think they have never had to give care to have such bizarre values.
 
 
+70 # Archie1954 2013-01-20 23:03
Very typical regressive and selfish Republican ideology at work. How low can such conservative, right wing degenerates go? Obviously we all underestimated their immorality.
 
 
+72 # Activista 2013-01-20 23:05
This thinking is unbelievable - spending $1 million per year per soldier in Afghanistan - and saving
"the elimination of hospice care for Medicaid patients will mean nearly $3.3 million in savings this year alone"
How absurd and sick is this society - it is fascism - by definition.
 
 
+108 # Street Level 2013-01-20 23:12
Any politician who votes down or against health care should be forever stripped of their free, taxpayer funded, lifelong, socialist health care effective immediately.
If we don't get ours, they certainly shouldn't get theirs at our expense. Screw these guys.
 
 
+25 # LML 2013-01-21 03:11
Amen!!!
 
 
+15 # NanFan 2013-01-21 12:27
Quoting LML:
Amen!!!


And hallelujah! Oust the bums.

N.
 
 
+7 # 666 2013-01-21 19:23
hell, i'd put them on a boat and ship them to some 3rd world country... unfortunately, most of them already have socialized medicine!
 
 
+3 # get real 2013-01-22 17:36
and we need to join together to see that this happens. It's going to take a lot of work.
 
 
+51 # DPM 2013-01-20 23:21
If they won't secede, can we just kick them out?
 
 
+13 # frankdavid 2013-01-21 00:42
They will all be dead in a few years.......... .then we can move in and reclaim the land from the six wealthy people who have stolen it from all the dead ones.
 
 
+21 # tm7devils 2013-01-21 00:50
Jindal has the mental capability of a nematode - nothing more need be said.
 
 
0 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 22:59
Yes, but where does all the selfishness and ego-centric thinking come from? What makes these people so devoid of humanity?
 
 
+30 # angelfish 2013-01-21 01:19
WHEN will ANY of these Egregious, Anal Termini EVER ask those with the MOST to give a little bit more? WHY is it that the poor, sick, disabled and UNable are ALWAYS made to do with less and LESS? There is a very short passage in the Bible that is most fitting, in response to them. It is, "Jesus wept".
 
 
+27 # cordleycoit 2013-01-21 05:06
This guy is just carrying the duty to die message. They want to kill us off.
 
 
+1 # Shanti 2013-01-22 17:23
But those on a Hospice program have agreed to die, a Hospice program just allows them to do that painfree with responsible care.
Shanti
 
 
+31 # Dotty 2013-01-21 06:16
Watch all those other Rethugs. follow suit now. Palin was right but wrong on which party would prush grandma over the clift.
 
 
+25 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-01-21 07:04
The results of the privatization of Medicaid are already being felt. The Bayou Health that everyone has to get if you are on Medicaid has already caused innocent children to go to the Emergency room for seizures because when the plan changed over to the private one they did not tell the folks they needed a pre authorization for the childs seizure medication. They then proceeded to not receive the pre authorization that was sent multiple times from the physician. News flash Loisiana politicians and Bayou Health profiteers people can die when they don't get their anti seizure medication. I know you are just trying to make a buck Bayou Health but peoples lives are at stake. You cant nursing that bell once someone has died.
 
 
+38 # Morris Townson 2013-01-21 07:46
(satire) He tells us "By God, we are a christian nation with christian values. And if you are not rich enough to feed, house, and provide health care for your family then you should just die and decrease the surplus population. But, do not tax the rich or the corporations."
 
 
+42 # Citizen Mike 2013-01-21 08:34
I AM NOT SURPRISED! I have been saying for years that the UNSPOKEN REPUBLICAN AGENDA is GENOCIDE AGAINST THE POOR. Now this is becoming less subtle as these disgusting fascists no longer feel any need to hide their class hatred. It is now an openly declared class war!

The Republican guiding principles today are SELFISHNESS AND GREED, which they believe to be the essential "American Way Of Life." That is why our lifespan has dropped shamefully and our culture is in decline.
 
 
+14 # AMLLLLL 2013-01-21 09:12
When is this dolt's term up, anyway?
 
 
+2 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-01-22 22:38
Just got re elected unopposed. Louisiana has term limits so after his four year term he will be looking to foist this stuff on the rest of the country.
 
 
+25 # Corvette-Bob 2013-01-21 09:21
The goal of the Republican Party is to destroy the Federal govenment so that the angry white males can inflict their views on women, blacks, other minorities, gays, and anyone else who does not see things the same way as they see the world according to their own delusions. It has nothing to do with fiscal reponsibilites. If they were sincere they would cut the military budget by 2% each year for the next 10 years.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 23:07
It's all about stealing. The more people you kill off the less claims on property and goods that they can lay claim to without a lot of effort. The whole purpose of our government these days is to facilitate the rich laying claim to anything they want; see all of the public property (parks, libraries, public buildings) now in private hands. I went back to my grammar school and found it is now an apartment complex.
 
 
+26 # RMDC 2013-01-21 09:25
Now we know why conservatives like Jindal howled to long and loud about the "death panels" in Obamacare. He had his own in mind and he did not need Obama to help.

It is also no wonder why the old confederate south is the headquarters of the US conservative movement. What a disgusting place with leaders like Bobby Jindal. Let's hope he does run for president. He and Eric Cantor would make a nice team -- they'd sink the republican party forever.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 23:09
>>It is also no wonder why the old confederate south is the headquarters of the US conservative movement. What a disgusting place with leaders like Bobby Jindal.
 
 
+12 # DerHermanator 2013-01-21 13:03
There's suttee in this man's DNA.
 
 
+21 # Dunn 2013-01-21 15:55
This is right out of Ayn Rands' philosophy...le t the poor and the workers die. I wish the people of Louisiana could recall him or march in the streets. This action of this capitalist pig is absolutely disgusting. Disgusting!!!
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 23:11
Louisiana is one of the poorest states in the Union but they love this guy and they put him in with glee.
 
 
+15 # Majikman 2013-01-21 20:35
Seems that little Piyush likes the caste system just fine with the poor being the untouchables.
 
 
+18 # ghostperson 2013-01-21 21:56
I lived in Louisiana for a decade, in New Orleans. Due to white flight after desegregation, there is a small tax base to support public education, a small jury pool to hear criminal cases and astronomical insurance rates due to crime, DUI's, non-licensed driving and, of course, hurricanes.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jindal is playing the role of a "strike breaker" as a blackmail tactic to lead the way to break the back of government regulated healthcare. It's just the health-care version of the GOPs nationwide voter suppression flying wedge.

The poor already use ER as primary care in NOLA, the most expensive care there is.

Now health care chain providers will try
redistribute their costs, the most expensive in the health care system, to citizens in those states that behaved responsibly.

All federal funds should be denied to the state until it behaves rationally. This is actually directed to Afro-Americans who are poor. It is discrimination against the poor who are dying.
 
 
+5 # terrison 2013-01-22 02:39
"due to white flight after desegregation, there is a small tax base to support public education, a small jury pool to hear criminal cases and astronomical insurance rates due to crime..."

I don't understand what you're saying here, could you clarify? Surely white people are not the only people who pay taxes or live within the law, sitting on juries and not committing crime.

AND just as surely, there are at least some white people who do not pay taxes, some who do not ever show up, some who are never even called for jury duty, and some who commit crime.

Surely you weren't saying otherwise?

"Now health care chains will try (sic)redistribu te their costs, the most expensive health care system, to citizens in those states that behaved responsibly."

I'm unsure what this means, as well. I'm sure you don't mean to say that the poor, those who are on Medicaid, would be irresponsible in going to the ER to receive emergency palliative care at the end of their lives, after Gov. Jindal stripped them of the use of hospice?

What is "responsible behavior" under those conditions?

I can see that you agree the poor are being discriminated against - which is why I am unclear about these passages. Would you mind elaborating a little?
 
 
+9 # Anarchist 23 2013-01-22 02:28
On the bright side, you will still be able to buy guns. So all the dying poor need is a gun and two bullets, two in case they miss the first time. This country has become a caricature of a country. Flesh and blood mean nothing; only corporations count as people these days.
 
 
+8 # Mrcead 2013-01-22 03:19
Potential Republican Presidential contender?

In whose lifetime?

Ice cold legislation is often met with ice cold rebuke come voting time. Jindal is a small time man with a narrow vision. He is quite comfortable in his small pond and there he will stay whether he likes it or not.
 
 
+6 # egrain 2013-01-22 11:23
Quoting Mrcead:
Potential Republican Presidential contender?

In whose lifetime?

Ice cold legislation is often met with ice cold rebuke come voting time. Jindal is a small time man with a narrow vision. He is quite comfortable in his small pond and there he will stay whether he likes it or not.


We can hope he's their candidate. He will be easier to beat than Robme.
 
 
+3 # mswenzel 2013-01-22 07:42
Morally, stopping medicare funded hospice care would require the state of Mississippi to make legally available to people the capacity to end their lives under a "patient refusal of hydration and nutrition". Does Mississippi have such a legal alternative to endless and pointless suffering? If not, this this proposed policy is a way to kill the poor more quickly and brutally. So, what does Jindal have against the poor? Why would he and his staff and the state want to see the poor suffer any more than they already do? Is he immune to their suffering? Is the suffering of the poor somehow magically less morally troubling than the suffering of the non-poor? Troubling moral issues that are not being addressed, purposefully or otherwise.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2013-01-23 23:22
"So, what does Jindal have against the poor?"

This answer is found in their religious beliefs. In their twisted version of "Christianity" they believe God rewards people He favors with riches, no matter how those riches were achieved (the ends justifies the means.) So, these people feel they have a right and duty to brutalize failure (for not being rich) in God's name. This is Calvinism and Lutheran thinking found in such churches as the Presbyterian Church and other far Right religious organizations. Which begs the question: Why did Hillary Clinton, a life-long Methodist change religions to the Presbyterian Church a couple of years ago???
 
 
+9 # deadhead 2013-01-22 10:00
Ya know, we should cease being verklempt over the spectre of red states' desires to secede and let them go. Blue states can stop sending money and use the subsequent savings to create social justice pockets wherein true equal rights will be realized. It won't be perfect, no, but it will be head and shoulders atop the cretinish "philosophies" of our red state neighbors. Let the gun toters shoot each other for their selfish needs, while we in the blue states willingly share what we have.
 
 
+4 # egrain 2013-01-22 11:29
Quoting deadhead:
Ya know, we should cease being verklempt over the spectre of red states' desires to secede and let them go. Blue states can stop sending money and use the subsequent savings to create social justice pockets wherein true equal rights will be realized. It won't be perfect, no, but it will be head and shoulders atop the cretinish "philosophies" of our red state neighbors. Let the gun toters shoot each other for their selfish needs, while we in the blue states willingly share what we have.


They are free to go. They are not free to take a chunk of the country with them, imo. We are unified as one country to consolidate strength. This became more important after WWII, when we became a super power. Power distributed to 50 smaller entities makes us weaker. There's a reason Italy unified. If we want to split up, we might want to take inspiration from a humorous map created after the 2000 election, in which the blue states joined Canada and became the United States of Canada and the red states became Jesusland.

Either way, a lot of people will die in pain that could have been managed in their homes
 
 
+10 # mjc 2013-01-22 10:15
My first thought was could Louisiana actually deny health care to Americans in Louisiana?? Jindal certainly cannot claim to have any Christian values, sense of morality nor does it seem possible that he thinks he could actually run for federal office...anywhe re.
 
 
+10 # Cdesignpdx 2013-01-22 12:17
You, Jindal, and your ilk are what drains our society. I don't know who you call "God" but if that god is a just and caring one, you're f****d!
 
 
+7 # SundownLF 2013-01-22 14:37
I was born in New Orleans and I am so glad that I have lived most of my life in California! I can't imagine, when I get to the end of my life (at 70, with cancer - so maybe not that far away), I wouldn't have hospice as needed and wouldn't have to fight corporate (lack of taxes) for the funds for that care.

I am SO ashamed of my home state!
 
 
+7 # David Starr 2013-01-22 16:23
To be brief, and harsh, Bobby Jindal, given his GOP "wisdom," and his latest example of tyrannical, state government (states rights? Bullshit), is an Indian version of an Uncle Tom.
 
 
+2 # bowlegs339 2013-01-23 00:17
Well, the folks in Louisiana voted this clown in, so, they have to deal with the damage their Republican Governor is going to create on their state
 
 
+4 # Dotty 2013-01-23 06:32
It is unbelieveable to me that any one would actually vote Repub. at all, it is well know that the Repub. are for the rich, why would any one with half a brain vote for them. It is time for the people to put people like Jindal out of office even if they have to go and throw him out bodily.
 

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