Seems Like Getting In Bed With Louisiana’s Government Hasn’t Been So Great For Ochsner…

…given that the hospital corporation just announced layoffs of two percent of its employees.

One of Louisiana’s largest private employers, Ochsner Health, is laying off 770 employees across Louisiana and Mississippi in its 42 hospitals and more than 200 urgent care and emergency centers.

An email sent to Ochsner staff reports that the layoffs represent 2% of the system’s 38,000-person workforce.

The cuts will not affect doctors, nurses, or other patient-facing staff. Ochsner is not closing or consolidating any of its facilities in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, or Shreveport.

The layoffs are expected to save the system between $125 million and $150 million, according to¬†The Advocate. They come amid soaring healthcare costs and Ochsner’s first unprofitable year in more than a decade.

“This is not a decision our executive leadership team takes lightly or one we ever wanted to make,” a companywide email said. “It is the hardest change we have ever had to make at Ochsner, but one we must to ensure we continue to be a strong organization.”

Almost half of the people of Louisiana are on Medicaid, which is something John Bel Edwards continuously touts, like a braying jackass, as the major achievement of his gubernatorial tenure.

Edwards talks about how important it is that he’s managed to get all these “poor” people health coverage, though most of them had private insurance before he put out the sileage of the most wasteful and least effective government program in America as his panacea for health care policy. Louisiana’s businesses took that cue and dumped as many of their employees as they could into his Medicaid expansion scheme, and now the emergency rooms across the state are full.

Ochsner now loses money. While the state’s budget is $46 billion, more than half of which is spent by the Louisiana Department of Health which administers Medicaid.

Edwards didn’t create more doctors and nurses to satisfy this colossal patient load he took on. He expanded demand but not supply. So health care costs are through the roof. And what Ochsner and the other hospital concerns are finding out is Medicaid doesn’t provide a viable business model. High-volume, low-margin only works when you can cheaply supply the goods or services involved. Walmart and Amazon can make a profit because they’re getting dirt-cheap goods from China to move through their system; the problem is you can’t get dirt-cheap health care from China.

Nor are you going to greatly ramp up the production of doctors and nurses when Medicaid pays them pennies on the dollar.

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This is just a taste of what single-payer government health care looks like, and it’s been a disaster for Louisiana.

John Bel Edwards has been a disaster for Louisiana.

If you don’t believe us, just go and ask the 770 Ochsner employees freshly out of a job.

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