Almost $83 million in cuts to healthcare programs and services went into effect Friday to shore up a mid-year deficit in the state budget. These are separate from a previous round of cuts made in July.
The latest round of reductions includes cuts to services for at-risk children and low-income moms, as well as a one percent drop in the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary Medicaid services.
Nearly $52 million in state cuts to Medicaid services go into effect Friday, Feb. 1. The reductions are part of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals’ response to a mid-year shortfall in Louisiana’s general fund.
The cuts include the elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women and a healthy parenting program for first-time mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary care services through Medicaid will be dropped by 1 percent.
The first of nine constitutional amendments on the ballot in Louisiana would prevent the legislature from raiding the state’s Medicaid Trust Fund to balance the budget. But LSU Political Scientist Robert Hogan says it could also hamstring the budgeting process if Louisiana’s demographics shift.
The latest American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau was released Thursday. The stats reveal the percentage of individuals in Louisiana living in poverty rose from 18.7 percent to 20.1 percent between 2010 and 2011.