In July 2009, The Advocate published a letter: “Big Charity damage questioned.” This letter examined all the claims made regarding the damage sustained at Charity Hospital and stated that the arguments presented rang rather hollow, as the very same concerns existed at the reopened University Hospital (known in today’s parlance as the LSU Interim Hospital).
Sometimes it takes a good long while for the truth to emerge out of the effluent pond scum dredged from the bowels of the Adams Management Services Corporation report regarding Charity Hospital, but rarely does the truth exude beyond the totality of the unmasked paradox of the state requesting information for the “Adaptive Reuse of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (Charity Hospital).”
Indeed a miracle has occurred! The patient has recovered from the terminal diagnosis and is now about to rise like Lazarus from the tomb. Yet before we get too giddy about this prospect, we might just want to peel back the mask of Dr. Jindal’s Frankenstein budget and force ourselves to ask: “How is it we can now contemplate the reuse of the building that was issued its ‘death warrant’ by Hurricane Katrina while at exactly the same moment muse whether or not we can afford to open the billion-dollar sprawling complex erected to replace Big Charity?”
The Charity Hospital debacle continues to serve as a glaring eyesore to anyone who questions why Louisiana remains mired down in the mud. We should make a concerted effort to learn from this mess. At issue here is not the reuse of the Charity Hospital building. It is not the money. It is not the political posturing or pandering. At issue is the incalculable amount of pain, suffering and hardship endured by Louisiana citizens who were victims of a senseless stalemate.
In the upcoming weeks, the budgetary meat ax will be wielded with draconian hyperbole of no new taxes and be damned our state’s universities.
All this comes in an effort to impress people who would not be fazed if Louisiana dissolved off the map into the Gulf. This is a pigheaded stance. It hurts us dearly. Just as with Big Charity, we knew what we should have done, we knew when we should have done it, and we knew what we were being told was a lie. We failed to act.
Let us not allow a festering Rhodes scholar utopian tax-free theory to recklessly browbeat Louisiana ever closer toward the laughable national ranking abyss.