SFGate.com / Associated Press, April 11, 2013

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers granted final approval Wednesday to closing the doors of LSU's public hospital in Baton Rouge next week and shifting health care services for the poor and uninsured to a private hospital. Backing of the latest version of the privatization agreement came from the joint House and Senate budget committee without objection, despite concerns that gaps still remained in care for pregnant women, prisoners and mental health services. In heated exchanges, Baton Rouge lawmakers said Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shoved through the privatization plans without enough community input and without adequate assurances patients will get the same level of care — still negotiating changes only days before shutting down Earl K. Long Medical Center.

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