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Council urging Medicaid reversal in Louisiana

New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 21, 2009

The Jefferson Parish Council is urging Louisiana health officials to reverse emergency Medicaid cuts projected to cost the parish's three largest hospitals $20 million this year. Council Chairman Tom Capella said it is "blatantly unfair" that rural hospitals are exempt from the cuts estimated at $345 million statewide. Department of Health and Hospitals Undersecretary Charles Castille told the council that the exemption is rooted in a 1997 state law requiring health officials to maximize funding for rural hospitals.