In recent years, the increase in the number of Medicaid and uninsured patients combined with the reduction in Medicaid reimbursements has certainly impacted hospitals and other medical providers. Following the example of many other states with similar programs, Louisiana hospitals and medical providers are currently proposing two amendments to the Louisiana Constitution aimed at allowing them to pool their capital together with that of the State of Louisiana in order to secure more matching federal funds through the Medicaid program (currently matched at a rate of $2.00 per every state dollar) and to make it more difficult for the Louisiana legislature to cut its own contributions made via the state matching program such that it would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve any such cut. If passed by voters today, the Louisiana Legislature would be charged with implementing the program.
The Louisiana Hospital Association’s website states that the amendments will not only help secure additional federal funding in an effort to help stave off rapid increases in health insurance costs, but will also improve the availability of quality care to all within the state and protect services provided to senior citizens, children and the disabled, as well as protect jobs within the state. The Association also reassures voters that no taxes will be raised and forty other states currently have similar programs to increase access to federal funding. The Association argues that the reason this program needs to be added as a constitutional amendment is to ensure that the additional funding is only used for healthcare and would not be pooled into the State General Fund.
Amendments 1 and 2 will appear on today’s ballots statewide.
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.