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LA group lacking transparency televises propaganda film

One of the hallmarks of the political left is the hidden nature by which it tries to operate, knowing that its agenda if fully understood would be rejected by the majority of the American people. A propaganda broadcast financed by unknown elements in the heart of Louisiana reminds us of this in multiple ways.

Just completed (presumably, as the schedule of the television station involved, KLAX in Alexandria, reports only “Paid Programming” from 1-2 PM today) airing in central Louisiana, a repeat from last week at that time, is a documentary piece called “Bad Medicine.” Its trailer promised a shrill presentation about why Louisiana should expand Medicaid services to make 41 percent of its residents eligible, and why the state’s unique public-owned, public-run hospital should remain that way instead of having most of it turned over to nongovernment operators, a couple of institutions closed, and one to remain owned and operated by the state.

The trailer showed a number of individuals who remain personally, ideologically, or professionally invested in the current charity hospital system, the changeover from which is likely to save $100 million beginning this fiscal year, criticizing the deal. It also shows some of them and others decrying the refusal to expand Medicaid coverage, opposed both by legislative majorities and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The film itself may even try to connect the two, in that during the session some legislators and activists spread a fictitious scenario that Medicaid expansion would be necessary to keep the new arrangement running, but the revelation of savings debunked that idea. Perhaps more to the interests of the makers of the film and a matter the trailer hints it addresses, part of the process has the closure of the existing, decaying Huey P. Long facility in Pineville moving to modern but smaller quarters in England Air Park.

But you can bet a load of inconvenient facts were left out of this effort, rendering it useless as anything more than uninformed and deceptive advocacy. No doubt it does not say that even under the most optimistic prediction of the cost-draining effects of expansion, the state will pay more money out from 2020 as a result of expansion, which by 2023 will cost the state $92 million a year and by then this gap growing at 15 percent a year; in fact, costs to the state probably will be significantly higher. Nor does it mention that a raft of studies, most recently about Oregon, shows that people using Medicaid to access services have no better, and often worse, health outcomes that people without any insurance. In sum, health care provision for Louisianans in the aggregate would be less efficient and probably less effective with expansion.

The broadcast screed likely also does not investigate that arrangements similar to that being implemented in Louisiana are common internationally and have been quite successful, including in many countries with far fewer resources and poorer populations. Typically, they bring cost savings compared to a public-owned, public-managed approach for new construction, a particular issue for Louisiana given its aging charity hospital infrastructure.

Nor does it probably admit that among the states Louisiana generally has among the worst health indicators, with its Medicaid population that largely uses the charity system, yet is in the upper half of Medicaid expenditures, so there seems to be association between worse outcomes in the state and its use of public institutions primarily for care and better outcomes elsewhere that rely most heavily on nongovernment provision for this population. Finally, the state remains on a per capita basis one with the most bed capacity of all states, meaning if some surplus beds go offline in the Alexandria or any other areas in the transition, they’re probably not going to be missed. And there is always the nongovernment sector willing to increase the supply if necessary. So any concern that there would be a decrease in services as a result of the change is either come from ignorance or disingenuousness.

Of course, none of this matters to the film’s backers because it contradicts their narrative that mandates that there must be more, not less, government, the better by which they and their fellow travelers may have more resources and power to reshape society into the left’s warped vision of command and control. That unspoken agenda obfuscated by the selective information presented mirrors the obscurity of those backers.

The film is made by “Pineville Concerned Citizens,” where at least one officer of which appears in it, and “Disruptive Political Media,” the latter of which are publicly unknown but presumably represents a sympathetic production group. But there should be a wealth of information about the former, because the “The Pineville Concerned Citizens for a Better Lakeside/Wardville Community” is a nonprofit business registered in the state since 2001, still in good standing.

And it’s not been exactly invisible in terms of activities. It has been concerned placement of about FEMA trailers, it gives away school supplies, and has worked with Americorps in using taxpayer dollars to find stuff for children to do in the summer. However, all 501(c)(3) corporations are required to provide basic financial information to the Internal Revenue Service, with which the group registered in 2004 but to date never had filed even the most basic required Form 990-N for any year. There are a few exceptions to filing but they don’t appear to apply to this group and the penalty for missing this three years running is loss of tax-exempt status.

Not only in production, but also paying KLAX to broadcast the film costs not unsubstantial sums of money. A 2014 filing of Form 990-N for the group is due next May 15 (assuming its fiscal year equals a calendar year) should reveal what interests paid to spread this propaganda. Revelation of such not only follows the law, but it also allows citizens to figure out the motives of the backers and how the backing of such an effort can lead to their self-enrichment.

Regrettably, the left all too often tries to operate in the shadows in order to facilitate presenting a more kind and gentler face to its hidden agenda. This trait has been clear and present in Louisiana, such as with an effort last year to recall Jindal that broke campaign finance regulations on transparency measures and defended it with incredulous denials of responsibility. Let’s hope the group changes course to follow the law this upcoming year and thereby delivers the transparency helpful to analyzing its machinations.

1 comment:

Dean Sinclair said...

Just shut up.