Feel better now, after the three-hour tantrum about the closing of the Southeast State Hospital? Feel better now, after the six-month tantrum about education reform? I hope so, because neither changes the fact of the rectitude both of the closure and reform.
If modern liberalism were in charge in most respects of public policy-making in Louisiana, these actions of a meeting to protest the closure and of a recall petition directed at Gov. Bobby Jindal would resonate perfectly with that ideology’s dependence upon emotion and assertion of feelings to formulate policy, with inconvenient facts shoved aside in a blizzard of illogic. But it isn’t, and the facts remain.
Louisiana as a state, both in terms of public and private mental health beds per capita, is in the top quarter of states, and plenty of beds exist in the Regions 1 and 9 that had been served by the hospital. Some family members will have to travel longer distances to visit patients, but it’s not the state’s job to give them curb service, only to do the best it can (often for free) to treat the afflicted. Many families and patients also have the option of private and non-profit providers in the area.