Landrieu working hard to reform healthcare

KIM’s bringing Santa’s home here
December 8, 2009
Galeand Raymond Theriot
December 10, 2009

Dear Editor:

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has been under enormous pressure from supporters and critics of health-care reform, state officials and healthcare providers facing shortfalls in Medicaid, and her own political party.

One thing is certain – she is working diligently to ensure the best outcome for Louisiana.

The state is rapidly approaching a major health-care funding crisis, which will have a negative impact on the approximately 1 million children, mothers, elderly, disabled and others who benefit from the Louisiana Medicaid Program. Because of this, Sen. Landrieu negotiated with Senate leadership to include a provision in the Senate healthcare bill that would adjust the calculation that determines the amount of federal money Louisiana receives for the Medicaid program.

With that provision, Louisiana stands to receive around $300 million in additional funding to help care for our state’s most vulnerable patients.

We appreciate the work Sen. Landrieu has done and urge her and our Congressional Delegation to focus on two other critical health reform issues being considered. Hospitals statewide are facing cuts of approximately $2 billion over the next ten years due to cuts in Medicare payments to fund expanded health care coverage for the uninsured.

Hospitals are also potentially facing up to $770 million in additional reductions annually resulting from cuts that may accompany a public insurance option. This could lead to a loss of approximately 16,200 jobs statewide.

There is still much work to be done locally and nationally, and health care providers will continue to work with Sen. Landrieu and the rest of Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation to protect patients throughout Louisiana.

John Matessino,

President and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association