Bobby Jindal’s poverty of compassion

Gov. Bobby Jindal in a recent video by the Republican Governors Assocation.

Gov. Bobby Jindal in a recent video by the Republican Governors Assocation.

By Robert Mann

I’ve often wondered why Gov. Bobby Jindal is so apathetic about the plight of the working poor. How could one raised in a state with some of the nation’s worst poverty govern as if such people don’t exist? Does he not know how hard they work to support their families on minimum wages? Does he care?

If he did, how could Jindal preside over a system that taxes the richest taxpayer at half the rate of the poorest? How could he propose “reforms” to make taxation even more regressive and harmful to the poor? Why would he withhold Medicaid coverage from the working poor? How could he slash funding to education in ways that hurt poor and middle-income children?

At long last, I believe I’ve found an answer. I discovered it in a recent video of Jindal, produced by the Republican Governors Association (RGA) for its “American Comeback” project. In his four-minute presentation, Jindal describes his father’s noble self-sufficiency after, presumably, the future governor’s birth. “Now, Dad,” he says he asked, “how do you pay for a baby on an installment plan?”

Jindal’s immigrant father, we learn, had no health insurance and couldn’t afford the medical bills owed the doctor after his child’s birth. “He would pay the doctor the bill in full,” Jindal explains, “by paying him every month what he could afford to pay.”

His father, Jindal informs us, needed no health insurance. “He didn’t want help from the government,” Jindal says. “He didn’t want help from anybody else. He was willing to pay his own bills, but he knew he needed a little bit of extra time and the doctor was willing to do that. It was a simpler time.”

Yes, it was. It was also a far less-expensive time. A recent study estimated that the average cost in the United States for a Cesarean birth is about $51,000. Try paying that bill on the installment plan.

But the gauzy story about his dad surely taught young Bobby an important lesson that now informs his leadership, right?

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6 Responses to Bobby Jindal’s poverty of compassion

  1. Stephen Winham says:

    Given his avowed fervent Christianity, we can only assume Governor Jindal takes the admonition that the poor will always be among us as justification for ignoring them.


  2. Ken Burk says:

    It’s been 27+ years ago now, so I don’t remember all that well, but I did not have insurance when at least one of my kids was born. My wife wound up in the hospital a couple of times prior to the birth. I do remember paying off all of the bills, but knowing how much that same thing costs now, I think that people without insurance would have little chance of doing that. I think that Mr. Jindal is living in an alternative universe, one where gas is under a buck, a gallon of milk costs a dollar, and bread is still 25cents a loaf.


  3. Chris Caplinger says:

    Yes, Jindal is flawed and probably evil. HOWEVER, he is still head and shoulders above that worthless, mentally-handicapped, egotistical, moron we had as governor before he was sworn into office.


  4. John Bel Edwards says:

    Great piece. Thanks.
    John Bel

    John Bel Edwards
    Edwards & Associates Law Firm, L.L.C.
    102 N. Myrtle Street
    P.O. Box 974
    Amite, Louisiana 70422
    Telephone: (985) 747-1088
    Facsimile: (985) 747-1086

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  5. Stephen Winham says:

    Excerpt fromAP wire story about President Obama’s 11/8/2013 visit to New Orleans:

    [“So we want to work with everybody — mayor, governor, insurance — whoever it is that wants to work with us here in Louisiana,” he said. Even those don’t support the overall law should be able to embrace the Medicaid expansion to help the uninsured, he added.

    Don’t count on it, Jindal quickly rebutted. The governor said Louisiana had rejected the expansion because it would cost taxpayers up to $1.7 billion over a decade.

    “We will not allow President Obama to bully Louisiana into accepting an expansion of Obamacare,” he said.]


  6. Pingback: Something Like the Truth | Legalized bribery: That’s Louisiana’s campaign finance system

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