Monday, 14 February 2011 19:42

Louisiana Politics: Jindal, Budget, Presidential Straw Poll, Redistricting, Medicaid

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Stephen Sabludowsky-Publisher of Bayoubuzz.comSummary: Governor Bobby Jindal goes to the Washington Mardi Gras while the Presidential candidates woo straw voters at the CPAC conference.  The Louisiana State budget has just come front and center along with the redistricting issues.  Legislative session coming soon...

Mr. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal went to Washington last week for his first Mardi Gras Ball and to raise more money for his re-election campaign.

For now, Jindal does not have an opponent.

He did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference which took place at the same time and only miles away from Mardi Gras event.

While up there, he told Politico, “"I think the more forums, the more opportunities people have to speak, to debate, to show ideas, I think it's a great thing. It looks messy. It doesn't look organized. It doesn't look completely coherent right now because there's not a single messenger, but that's a healthy part of democracy," referring to the potential 2012 presidential contenders who are appearing at the conference.

While it is still very early, Ron Paul snagged another win at CPAC.  He are the results in the straw poll.


Paul generally does well in the strong polls at the different conservative events although the straw polls are miles away from the Big Event, the National Republican Convention.


Here are the results:  

Ron Paul – 30%
Mitt Romney – 23%
Gary Johnson – 6%
Chris Christie – 6%
Newt Gingrich – 5%
Tim Pawlenty – 4%
Michele Bachmann – 4%
Mitch Daniels – 4%
Sarah Palin – 3%
Herman Cain – 2%
Mike Huckabee – 2%
Rick Santorum – 2%
John Thune – 2%
Jon Huntsman – 1%
Haley Barbour – 1%

Jindal and the Louisiana budget

One of Governor Jindal’s big upcoming challenges will be to balance the state’s budget which cause a lot of pain to many.  The budget situation is particularly difficult to Louisiana because it is one of the states that receive much more federal money than it pays out.

The budget crises comes at a time which could be interesting for local political watchers. Jindal will not be running for President but many believe he has national aspirations for the future.

Without doubt, the national mantra will be to cut governmental services.

Jindal will have no other choice but to do exactly that.  

Budget, BluePrint and DHH

Speaking of budgets, the organization BluePrint has issued 14 recommendations in dealing with the upcoming budget crises.

Shortly after the release, the Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein sent out an email welcoming an endorsement from Blueprint Louisiana to transform Medicaid by implementing a system of coordinated care.


Here is the rest of the DHH e-release.  It will be interesting to see if and to what extent the other departments and agencies respond to BluePrint’s recommendations:

In unveiling its recommendations for next fiscal year, Blueprint urged the adoption of a coordinated care system as proposed by the Department for implementation next year.  The Making Medicaid Better transforms Medicaid by moving away from a pure fee-for-service system to a system of networks charged with coordinating the care of enrollees and ensuring access to care. 


Blueprint Louisiana Chairman Bill Fenstermaker noted: “Coordinated care will provide both savings to taxpayers and better outcomes to Louisiana’s most vulnerable population.  Secretary Greenstein, his staff, health care providers and consumer advocates across the state have worked hard to share ideas and feedback to create the best proposal for Louisiana. A sense of urgency should guide the state and providers as they work together to implement a managed care system this fiscal year that benefits taxpayers and patients.”


In its recommendation, the group noted the state’s recent ranking of 49th in the United Health Foundation America’s Health Rankings Report, and advised that CCNs would emphasize preventive care and could help the state improve its standing in critical areas such as obesity, infant mortality and avoidable hospitalizations. In addition to increasing Medicaid recipients’ quality of life, the group noted that coordinated care would reduce state costs to support the health care delivery system.


Secretary Greenstein concurred with Blueprint Louisiana’s sense of urgency toward implementing coordinated care, and expressed his appreciation for the organization’s acknowledgement that the state’s health care delivery system must change.


“We have repeatedly said that we must favor quality over quantity, value over volume in our Medicaid system. These are common sense principles, many of which you find in the business world. That’s why I am so proud that this group of the state’s top business leaders from every sector, including health care, is supporting this effort as a priority for our state moving forward,” Greenstein said. “Louisiana has languished in national health indicators for far too long, and we all want to change this dismal outlook. I thank Blueprint Louisiana for joining us, and I look forward to further engaging with them and other groups as we transform Medicaid in Louisiana.”


Blueprint Louisiana is a community-focused, nonprofit organization of civic leaders and others who identify and recommend changes that will make Louisiana a better place to live and work. Blueprint Louisiana looks specifically at government-level reforms in several areas, one of which is health care. For more information on Blueprint Louisiana, please visit


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