Letter: Cuts to program mean cuts to jobs, patient care
When Gov. Bobby Jindal released his budget recently, he casually cut health care coverage for 57,000 people at or below poverty in the four-parish area who would otherwise be uninsured. Removing funding for the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection means that individuals of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes will lose $26 million annually for primary care and behavioral health coverage.
The result is not only a social catastrophe but also an economic disaster, straining the network of community health centers and driving patients to emergency rooms where they cannot be turned away.
We anticipate seeing a significant population of patients begin to use the local emergency rooms if patients lose this valuable coverage. The GNOCHC program should be continued because it allows community health centers to provide high-quality care to patients and to keep them healthy and alive.