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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, at campaign event for presidential candidate John McCain in Kenner, Louisiana. Date    4 June 2008
Gov. Bobby Jindal
If you're poor, terminally ill, and live in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal has decided you don't deserve a comfortable, peaceful death. Most Medicaid patients will no longer receive hospice care as of Feb. 1 in that state. Vicki Burns, a hospice administrator, points out that the policy isn't just cruel, it's probably not likely to save much in the way of state funds.
"I think as a state we're just setting really a bad example to the rest of the country. This is how we're going to treat the people in their final days of their lives?" said Burns.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals say the elimination of hospice care for medicaid patients will mean nearly $3.3 million in savings this year alone. In 2014, it'll mean $8.3 million in savings.

However, Burns believes the state will end up paying much more with terminally ill patients forced to turn to local hospitals.

"They'll just go in and out of the hospitals, maybe go to icus, and they wont' be able to have their family around them with hospice care," said Burns.

It's the usual story with Republican ideas for health care cost savings. They don't actually save money, just shift it around. While making people suffer. As of now, Jindal is still refusing the Medicaid expansion available to the state under Obamacare, making this cut even more unnecessary and more cruel.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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