Amid criticism over withdrawing financial support to help keep it open, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal suggested the numerous residents who depend on the Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City emergency room should start eating right and be more careful now that it’s closing.
Baton Rouge General officials announced yesterday that the closest emergency room within 30 minutes for many of the city’s poorest residents will be shut down within 60 days, a victim of red ink and the Jindal administration practically begging for the label “Indian giver” after reneging on a promise last summer to provide funds to keep the ER open.
The hospital system originally voted to close the Mid-City ER in August, citing growing expenses associated with caring for the influx of uninsured patients — many from low-income neighborhoods in north Baton Rouge — who had previously gone to the LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center until the Jindal administration shut down the charity hospital facility on Airline Highway in April 2013.
A deal was soon reached to keep Mid City’s ER doors open with financial help from the state, but that deal fell through, a casualty of a looming $1.6 billion budget shortfall and a governor who really doesn’t give a shit about anyone who can’t help his presidential aspirations.
“We’re encouraging people to start leading healthier lifestyles by removing the crutch of a relatively accessible emergency room.”
Jindal responded to the growing chorus of subsequent criticism from people he couldn’t care less about by proposing that uninsured patients who currently use the General’s Mid City ER as a primary care source should start exercising more, eating healthier, and being more safe.
“I understand there are people who can’t afford health insurance who rely on this emergency room because they can’t afford the out-of-pocket expense of an urgent care facility or a primary care physician and because I’ve refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage,” Jindal said, “but there’s a very simple solution: Just don’t get sick or hurt.”
Jindal explained how low-income Baton Rouge residents who depend on the facility could get by without it with some common-sense preventive health care.
“Maybe poor people should take better care of themselves,” Jindal stated. “Cut back on the salt, fatty foods, and everyday accidents that aren’t at least fatal. That’s one way not to be a burden on our struggling health care system.”
As for the broken promise of funds, Jindal said that by not helping to keep the ER open, he’s actually helping people get healthier by giving them more incentive to do so.
“It’s not a broken promise; it’s a wellness initiative,” Jindal said. “We’re encouraging people to start leading healthier lifestyles by removing the crutch of a relatively accessible emergency room.”
Jindal concluded making his comments while sipping a protein shake enhanced with steroids and the tears of fat people with crushed dreams.