November 12 – Public documents show that the Jindal administration is relying on deals with private hospitals and one-time money to fill much of a $300 million gap needed to balance spending with lost federal revenues. A sudden, congressionally mandated drop in federal Medicaid funding support carved a nearly $860 million hole in the state’s $25 billion budget soon after the July 1 start of the fiscal year. The LSU hospitals got about two-thirds of the cuts when the administration announced its plan to fill $522.5 million of the hole. Administration officials said at the time that they hoped $94 million in state surplus funds would materialize to match federal funds and close the remaining $300 million-plus gap. State Department of Health and Hospitals documents, recently made public, show that LSU hopes to cover $135.6 million with public-private partnerships involving its seven south Louisiana hospitals.
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