Disclaimer: Although I am an LSU doc, because I have been on the "privatization" side of resident education and clinical care for 4 years, I am not impacted personally by these cuts; many persons that I respect greatly will be.
The implications of the closures go far beyond just indigent care as several have pointed out. As some have discounted LSU and EKL as a hospital and a training program, let me point out that 67 internal medicine and subspecialists in internal medicine that practice in Baton Rouge trained at EKL in Internal Medicine. That is just from the Internal Medicine Residency Program at EKL. Add other programs such as surgery (which is primarily based in N.O.), ob-gyn (which was privatized to Woman’s Hospital in the past year), ER, and the impact is far greater. Then think about LSU residency programs in New Orleans, Lafayette, etc, and you cannot begin to imagine how shitty your access to healthcare will become if the residency programs in the LSU system are not supported.
There are significant ramifications that go well beyond shutting down a dilapidated hospital.
There is no doubt that years of cronyism, poor management and financial irresponsibility by LSU are at blame here, but this is a lot bigger deal than just balancing a budget (and I am politically very conservative).
JMO…Jindal has little to lose. In six years, he will point to how he saved the state in excess of $300 million dollars and ensured access to better facilities (which he will term as “care”) as one of his crowning moments. The devil will be in the details.
For a list of docs that trained in internal medicine at EKL and where they practice, go here: LINK