As a Jew — and probably because of it — I have the greatest affection for Jesus Christ.
He practiced and taught the values that my religion holds dear today. In his world, 99 percent of the population lived in abject poverty, were never far away from death and were governed by uncaring and avaricious leaders. Realizing his limitations to improve and give dignity to their lives, he told them that things would be better in a life after death. His doctrine is best expressed in Matthew 24:45 where it is written: “Whatever you did not do to help the least of these brothers, you were refusing to help me.”
Though he professes to be deeply religious, this message seems absent from Gov. Bobby Jinal’s thinking and deeds. His 2013 budget is bereft of any sense of caring and mercy concerning an estimated 400,000 Louisiana residents who must turn to state government for their health care. For the sake of polishing his conservative bona fides for the 2016 Republican nomination, Jindal has refused to accept the many millions of dollars being offered by the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.
While this — as many states — are struggling financially, Gov. Jindal has chosen to balance his budget by refusing to help our most vulnerable citizens. His deepest cuts are made to hospitals, doctors and other staff who care for the poor — including 400 employees at LSU’s public hospital — and to the Department of Children and Family Services. Other targets are mental health facilities (including services to children), victims of domestic violence and hospice patients. These cuts are especially cruel in Louisiana.
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