Louisiana House passes budget with deep cuts to healthcare that could shutter hospitals: 6 things to know

The Louisiana House passed an operating budget April 19 with more than $648 million in cuts that will adversely affect healthcare, despite threats from hospitals to close without sufficient state funding, reports The Times-Picayune.

Here are six things to know.

1. The proposed $27 billion operating budget was passed through the House on a 55 to 47 vote. It will steeply reduce spending on health services for the poor and the elderly.

2. If the House budget plan becomes a law, 46,000 elderly and disabled residents are expected to lose their nursing home slots and 24-hour health care services in just over two months, according to the report.

3. In addition, the budget proposes a major decrease in supplemental funding for safety-net hospitals and clinics. This could force numerous hospitals to close — as several health systems have raised concerns and threatened to close without full state funding.

4. Lafayette (La.) General Health issued a letter April 3 to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards threatening to close Lafayette-based University Hospital & Clinics and fire 800 employees over a lack of state funds.

5. In addition, New Orleans-based LCMC Health, the operator of New Orleans-based University Medical Center, threatened to walk away from the public, private management agreement to run the hospital over the lack of funding from the state.

6. The budget will still need to pass through the senate and get a signature from Mr. Edwards.

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