Gov. Bobby Jindal on “Meet the Press” reasoned in refusing to accept federal funding for Medicaid that it would be necessary to borrow those funds from the Chinese. The reality for borrowing is because in 36 years American industry has transferred its industrial base over to the Chinese, allowing for the creation of a world power from a Third World country — all because low-cost labor was too attractive to American industry, denying jobs to the American labor market. Is the governor correct in denying medical care by refusing federal assistance? The following is what I personally experienced.

Frank Parrish, then an 81-year-old retired Florida attorney, and I formed a 6,500 member air travel club at Orlando International Airport in 1975 with two jet aircraft: A Convair 880 and a DC-8-21. In electing to initiate group travel to China, I contacted the State Department, only to be discouraged. There was then no group travel to China. I persevered, contacting the Chinese government directly, and it granted my request for 128 visas. We entered China through Hong Kong on Aug. 9, 1978, for nine days, personally toured by governmental members in Canton, Beijing and Shanghai, experiencing Peking duck dinners, acupuncture, residential housing, primitive industry, tourists’ interests — the Great Wall, The Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, Mao Tse Tung Memorial — along with a primitive infrastructure consisting of dirt roads, dilapidated trucks, rail and air travel, along with a lack of toilets (generally holes in the ground) … and thousands of bicycles. We stayed at a Russian-built hotel outside of Beijing, as no housing in the central city was available, and our conversations in our rooms were monitored. That was China 1978. Today, there’s a new, vibrant, competitive China.

For America today, the challenge is to recover our industry and to utilize federal dollars for medical relief. And we have not addressed the refusal by the governor to accept federal funding for rapid rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Vaughn Brennan

retired attorney