4 Louisiana safety-net hospitals at risk of closure

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed $792 million in cuts Tuesday that would shutter hospitals in four cities, according to a WWL news report.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals would have its funds slashed by $408.7 million under the governor's 2016-2017 budget proposal.

Under the proposal, safety-net hospitals in Alexandria, Bogalusa, Houma and Lake Charles would close, while all other safety-net hospitals would receive a 3 percent cut, according to the report.

During a hearing before the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee, Gov. Edwards said he hopes the cuts can be avoided by raising taxes. He plans to call a special legislative session as soon as June 7 to address the issue.

Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, who testified after Gov. Edwards at the hearing, said more than $70 million is needed to fund the four hospitals slated to close under the proposal.

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