The Louisiana House passed HB 1, a budget for the State’s expenditures for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1st. Under this budget, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) estimates it will lose nearly $119 million from state general funds. Combined with the loss in federal matching dollars, Louisiana healthcare programs would see a reduction of closer to $620 million.
The cuts would include the elimination of all Medicaid funding of mental health rehabilitation services for adults, as well as other vital services for people with disabilities. LDH forecasts that it will have to make the following cuts to Medicaid-funded programs:
- Reduction or elimination of funds to Human Services Districts and Authorities that provide for behavioral health services and funding to organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities.
- Elimination of community psychiatric support and treatment for people 21 and older.
- Elimination of psychosocial rehabilitation services for people 21 and older.
- Elimination of drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
- Elimination of pediatric day health care services.
- Elimination of some programs that help people become eligible for Medicaid, including the Medically Needy Spend-down Program, the Medically Needy Regular Program, and Provisional Medicaid.
HB 1 is still being considered by the Senate. The current legislative session ends on June 4, so there is likely to be a vote TODAY. Please reach out to your legislators!!!
If you do not know who your state Senator and Representatives are, go to www.legis.la.gov. Click on "Who are my Legislators?" on the left side of the Home page, enter your address. Then click on your Senators/ Reps name to be taken to their websites and their contact info. It's really quick and easy to do.
WHO TO CALL (example – your reps may differ!):
REP: Stephanie Hilferty: (504) 885-4154
SEN. Conrad Appel: (504) 838-5550
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Only call your own representatives. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!