In this weekly edition of Jindal’s “Let’s attack Obama and potential political opponents", the Governor has seized upon the controversy of Embola and healthcare.
While attacking the federal government in his latest op-ed, the Governor who has offered his own healthcare vision for the country and who heralds himself as an expert on healthcare might want to take a look at his own performance.
According to a national study by United Healthcare Foundation, Louisiana is ranked 48th in healthcare. The year prior to his taking office, Louisiana was likewise ranked 48th. When his predecessor, Governor Kathleen Blanco took office, Louisiana was 49th. Thus, in terms of ranking, Jindal's Louisiana has remained at the 48th position without any improvement started under Blanco.
But, Jindal is running for President, he opines about anything and everything and the national media sucks it up without question even though his own constituents rank him as more unpopular than President Obama.
Here's the latest:
Ten days ago, Jindal took to the Internet airwaves urging the administration to cut off air travel from Western Africa.
In his most recent hit-piece in Politico, Jindal said regarding the federal government’s lack of priorities which presumably are hurting the country’s ability to handle the Ebola emergencies. He also took the opportunity to criticize the Obama administration's focus upon its government spending on healthcare.
The CDC’s website makes clear the objectives of community transformation grants. The program funds neighborhood interventions like “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lighting to make it safe and easy for people to walk and ride bikes.” Bike lanes and farmer’s markets may indeed help a community—but they would do little to combat dangerous diseases like Ebola, SARS or anthrax.
Make no mistake: These types of projects may represent worthwhile endeavors—when funded by states, localities or private charities. And I certainly believe in the goals of wellness as one way to improve health and reduce costs. Here in Louisiana, we’ve launched the Well-Ahead Louisiana program, working with local businesses and organizations on ways to promote healthy lifestyles.
But, as the old saying goes, to govern is to choose. Unfortunately, this administration seems intent on not choosing, instead trying to insinuate Washington into every nook and cranny of our lives. It’s a misguided and dangerous gambit, for two reasons. First, a federal government with nearly $18 trillion in debt has no business spending money on non-essential priorities. Second, a government that attempts to do too much will likely excel at little. And the federal government has one duty above all: To protect the health, safety and well-being of its citizens.
Our Constitution states that the federal government “shall protect each of [the States] against Invasion”—a statement that should apply as much to infectious disease as to foreign powers. So when that same government prioritizes funding for jungle gyms and bike paths over steps to protect our nation from possible pandemics, citizens have every right to question the decisions that got us to this point.
In her speech, Secretary Clinton said, “too often our health care debates are clouded by ideology, rather than illuminated by data.” I couldn’t agree more. But in this case, the data show not that the CDC faced a lack of funding, but misplaced priorities for that funding based on choices made by the Obama administration. I urge Secretary Clinton to put her partisan politics aside, and ensure instead that the federal government focus first and foremost on our most important goal: to keep America, and Americans, safe.
However, not everybody agrees with the Governor.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks the answer is to "stop accepting flights from countries that are Ebola-stricken." But what about the two nurses in Madrid who tested positive for the virus after treating a Spanish priest? The priest and one of the nurses have already died of the disease.
Do we stop accepting flights from Spain, which has a pretty good health care system, of course covering everyone? Not unexpectedly, the Texas governor opposes the flight ban idea.
Jindal was inexplicably proud to decline $6 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid coverage in his state. Nearly 900,000 Louisianans currently lack health insurance.
"Expansion would result in 41 percent of Louisiana's population being enrolled in Medicaid," Jindal explained at the time. "We should measure success by reducing the number of people on public assistance."
There are many ways of measuring success in a society, widespread health coverage being one. Instead, we see a political failure that has left Americans more vulnerable to a deadly disease than they had to be. It's really something.
Putting politics aside, let's see just how well Louisiana is doing in the area of health?
According to http://www.americashealthrankings.org/LA from the United Health Foundation, Louisiana ranks 48th, and in Senior health, ranks 49th.
• Small disparity in health status by educational attainment
• High immunization coverage among adolescents
• Low incidence of pertussis infections
• High prevalences of physical inactivity, obesity, & diabetes
• High percentage of children in poverty
• High infant mortality rate & high prevalence of low birthweight
• Obesity remains high at 34.7 percent of the adult population, with more than 1.2 million obese adults in Louisiana. Also, over 1.0 million adults are physically inactive.
• In the past year, the rate of drug deaths decreased from 17.1 to 13.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
• The high school graduation rate increased this year for the fourth consecutive year from 59.5 percent in 2009 to 68.6 percent of ninth graders who graduate within 4 years.
• In the past year, violent crime decreased by 12 percent from 555 to 497 offenses per 100,000 population.
• For the third consecutive year, the percent of children in poverty exceeds 30 percent of persons younger than 18 years.
• After 4 years of increases, public health funding declined in the past year to $87 per person.
• In Louisiana, 47.3 percent of adults aged 25 years and older with at least a high school education report their health is very good or excellent compared to only 23.4 percent with less than a high school education, resulting in a gap of 23.9 percent.
Low prevalence of falls
Low prevelance of underweight seniors
Ready availability of home health care workers
Highest prevalence of obesity
High prevalence of teeth extractions
Lowest percentage of quality nursing home beds
In the past year, flu vaccination coverage decreased from 70.2 percent to 63.8 percent of adults aged 65 and older.
Food insecurity among seniors increased by 34.3 percent in the past year, from 14.0 percent to 18.8 percent of adults aged 60 and older.
In the past year, use of hospice care increased among seniors by 30 percent and the percentage of hospital deaths among seniors decreased by 18 percent.
The prevalence of physical inactivity among seniors decreased in the past year from 38.5 percent to 32.9 percent of adults aged 65 and older.
The prevalence of underweight seniors decreased in the past year from 1.8 percent to 1.1 percent of adults aged 65 and older.
In Louisiana, 48.3 percent of seniors with a college education report their health is very good or excellent compared to only 16.2 percent of seniors with less than a high school education.