Lawmakers accuse Jindal of moving too fast on EKL closure
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers today approved the closure of Earl K. Long Medical Center and the reimbursement shift necessary to pay a private hospital to take on the poor and uninsured.
Some lawmakers say the plan had to be approved because EKL shuts down in five days, and if the money wasn't in place other area hospitals could be overwhelmed with indigent patients from EKL.
Other lawmakers accused the Jindal administration of moving too fast with the merger and forcing this closure on lawmakers.
Undersecretary Jerry Phillips of the Department of Health and Hospitals released this statement after the hearings:
"This move came as a result of over $1 billion in FMAP cuts handed down by Congress impacting both this fiscal year and next. We put together a plan that quickly ensures residents will have continued access to the quality medical services they need at the most efficient value for taxpayers. This new plan also allows us to upgrade the process in which healthcare is delivered. It's a significant step forward for health care in Louisiana and will strengthen our commitment to delivering high quality services for our people."
Layoffs had already been approved for the LSU-run hospital's more than 770 workers. They will have the opportunity to reapply for jobs at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center.
News 2's Mike Steele will have more on the decision and reactions from lawmakers today at noon.