The Louisiana state House of Representatives just passed a new budget that will cause more than 30,000 elderly people to lose Medicaid and be evicted from their nursing homes. The eviction notices are scheduled to go out this week.
A Department of Health spokesman, Bob Johannessen, talks about the changes:
“The Louisiana Department of Health is beginning the process of notifying all impacted enrollees that some people may lose their Medicaid eligibility. The goal of the department is to give notice to all affected people as soon as possible in order that they begin developing their appropriate plans.”
The problem stems from the newly passed budget which cuts healthcare by over $500 million dollars due to a loss of one-cent sales tax in June. The expiring tax added $880 million to the Louisiana budget.
The cuts to healthcare won’t just be felt by the elderly, either. Lafayette General hospital has already sent out word to its 800 employees that the medical center will have to close. Other hospitals are expected to be similarly affected and some 25,000 jobs in the assisted living industry will be cut as well.
Louisiana Senate Finance Chair is worried as well, but not so much about the plight of the state’s elderly, “This makes us look heartless,” he said. Glad to see he has his priorities are in the right place.