Roy Exum: "The Ochsner Scheme"

Friday, October 15, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Tennessee, in the process of firing any its 6,700 employees who have not taken the COVID vaccine, is sitting on a gold mine. CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, which will fire any employee who has not taken the jab by Nov. 1, can also get in on “The Ochsner Scheme” too. Ochsner Health is the largest hospital system in Louisiana and in August told its employees to get the vaccine or be fired. Now the beady-eyed ones in Accounting have announced that any spouse/significant other who is unvaccinated will cost that employee $100 per pay period.

It’s a dilly of a move; Ochsner Health has 32,000 employees, and another 4,500 doctors on its payroll.

Forget the entire Ochsner “family” has been dropped to its knees in the COVID wars where there have been 750,473 confirmed cases of COVID in the state and 14,268 have died in less than two years. My Lord, Ochsner should be giving out medals rather than shooting its wounded.

According to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, only 46 percent of Louisianans are fully vaccinated – Al Capone would love this steal -- and, hey, with the kids’ vaccinations ready, what if you could “tax” entire households just like the virus does? At $200 every month (two pay periods) you would have some folks paying the hospital for its “humanitarian efforts.”

In Tennessee we’ve had 1,256,502 cases of the coronavirus and 15,687 deaths since March 2020. More specifically, in Hamilton County we have had 62,525 cases and 638 deaths. The state has 46.5 percent fully vaccinated so it is reasonable to believe the spouses/significant others of Blue Cross and Memorial employees might be a fruitful yield at $100 “tax” per pay period. Memorial has more than 3,500 employees, 661 medical staff members, and 500 volunteers.

I simply don’t get it. Anytime you force people to do something rarely works and, brother, when you roll out the “spousal COVID vaccine fee,” it seems to me you are asking for trouble. President Joe Biden got in hot water when he decreed any company with over 100 employees must mandate the vaccine or subject its employees and Delta Air Lines upped its ”spousal COVID tax” to $200 per pay period.

"The reality is the cost of treating COVID-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive, and we spent more than $9 million on COVID care for those who are covered on our health plans over the last year," said Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas in an emailed statement.

"This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings. As with our employee vaccination policy, spouses and domestic partners with medical and religious objections will be able to file exemption requests," Ochsner Health told local news station KATC-TV.

Thomas’ email read, “We know that COVID-19 vaccination dramatically reduces transmission, severity of symptoms, hospitalizations, and death. Approximately 90 percent of those hospitalized with COVID in our facilities have been unvaccinated since vaccines were approved in December 2020," he said.

"Widespread vaccination is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and we hope this change will encourage even more community members to get vaccinated. We encourage employees with questions about employee benefits to send questions directly to Human Resources."

Perfect. Just perfect.

* * *

“LIKE A FAT GUY ON A SEE-SAW’

I love John Kennedy, the funny Senator from Louisiana who “calls it like he sees it.”

Senator Kennedy said during an interview on Tuesday's episode of "Fox News Primetime" that President Joe Biden's "poll numbers are going down like a fat guy on a seesaw."

"I think it's fair to say that President Biden and his merry band of woke-aristas have broken a lotta plates in their first 10 months. That's why his poll numbers are going down like a fat guy on a see-saw. Everything from Afghanistan, to inflation, to the border crisis, to his handling of COVID," Kennedy said.

The Republican lawmaker has served as a senator from Louisiana since 2017.

"I think the president and his people just don't trust the American people to make their own decisions," Kennedy said. "President Biden and his woker friends think that they're smarter and more virtuous than the American people, that the American people can't manage their lives without these edicts from Washington."

royexum@aol.com


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