On Thursday, Louisiana’s House of Representatives passed a resolution to allow LSU to work with the VA to build a world-class medical complex in downtown New Orleans. In spite of an overwhelming 70-33 vote, Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter is up to his old tricks, continuing to place ideology and special interest above advocating for a realistic solution for the future of Louisiana’s health care delivery system. From nola.com:
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has met several times with HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson in an attempt to kill the project, and said earlier this week that he is optimistic that Jackson will deny the state’s financing request.
Vitter’s opposition is tied to his demand that the state privatize its delivery of public health services. Vitter and the Public Affairs Research Council claim that using public money to purchase private plans for the uninsured would give all Louisianians access to an equal quality of care. Their analysis cherry-picks data from Massachusetts’s recent restructuring of state health care, a situation that is not at all representative of the reality of the problems that face Louisiana. This strategy serves to enrich the private medical professionals who contribute heavily to Senator Vitter, and falls far short of covering all citizens while eliminating their last line of defense against illness and injury. According to Mike Stagg at Democrat2Democrat,
PAR joins with Leavitt and PriceWaterHouse Coopers in wanting to bet the health of several hundred thousand Louisiana residents on an ideologically driven plan (you know, pretending there is a healthcare ‘market’) that is failing in states that don’t have poverty rates as high as we have here and don’t have as high a percentage of uninsured adults as we have here.
There’s no need to add to the response provided by state Senator Joe McPherson:
[Vitter] is playing a strange game of chicken… All I can see him doing is losing us the opportunity to get 300 million in federal dollars that are important to the recovery of New Orleans.