Target: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Goal: Thank Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for deciding against cutting hospice services for low-income people
Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and his administration recently scrapped plans that would have made major cuts to Louisiana’s Medicaid hospice program. Much to the relief of many advocates, the state will continue to provide end-of-life care to people on their death beds who can’t afford private insurance. Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein announced the reversal as hospice program supporters recently gathered for a candlelight vigil on the state’s capitol steps in protest. Greenstein said his department will use federal grant funding to continue the services for the poor and terminally ill.
The cuts were supposed to take effect February 1st, 2013, and would have ended hospice care services to patients over age 21 on medicaid. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says the elimination of hospice care for medicaid patients would have meant $3.3 million in savings this year alone. However, considering the state faces a $900 million deficit, the cuts would have had minimal impact on the current financial crisis. Additionally, these cuts would have placed a greater burden on the state, as low-income Louisianan’s on medicaid would have been forced to turn to area hospitals and ICUs, shifting the burden to localities.
“End-of-life care is just so vital for everybody. It’s sacred. It’s one of the most sacred times in people’s life next to being born. Why would we abandon people at such a critical time?” said grief counselor and nurse Sue deRada, who works for a hospice service in St. Tammany Parish, 40 miles north of New Orleans.
Oklahoma is the only state that does not offer hospice care to adults through Medicaid, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
Thank Bobby Jindal for reversing a plan that would have had a devastating impact on Louisiana’s most vulnerable citizens.
Dear Governor Jindal,
Thank you for reconsidering your plan to cut hospice services for Louisiana citizens on medicaid. Certainly there are more effective and humane ways to face the budget crisis ailing your state. This plan would have shifted the burden of health care servies to local providers, and in the end would have not had a sustainable impact on the state’s financial situation.
We urge you to continue to seek better and more efficient ways to remedy your state’s economy. Thank you for stopping this bill and keeping in place crucial services to the people who need them most.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: dsb nola via flickr