Senate needs to restore hospital funding

Published 6:54 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016

On Monday, the Louisiana Senate Finance Committee recommended cutting funding to nine hospitals, including Our Lady of the Angels. The Senate will vote on its budget Wednesday, and then reconcile its budget with the House.

We certainly hope that the full Senate re-instates the hospital funding. Failing that, we hope that the House insists on keeping the hospital funding intact during budget reconciliation talks. Yes, the state is facing a $600-million budget deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, but we cannot afford cuts to health care.

OLA will already be hamstrung by changes to Medicaid, which will likely cut the hospital’s existing overall budget by at least 10 percent. That decrease will happen even if the state’s funding is restored, so it is apparent that any further cuts to OLA’s budget would be devastating to our community.

Our hospital serves the health needs of our parish citizens, and if it were to severely cut services or close, many would have to drive nearly an hour to the next nearest hospital. OLA is too important to our region. We urge legislators to restore full state hospital funding.