Cenla Reacts to Medicaid Cuts - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Cenla Reacts to Medicaid Cuts

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - Congress is looking to slash Medicaid funding in Louisiana. The slash to Medicaid comes in the form of 860 million dollars. With 25 percent of people in Louisiana relying on Medicaid, this will affect millions. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane reports.

James Martinez is at the Huey P. Long hospital to have surgery on his leg. He doesn't have insurance, so he relies on this charity hospital to help him get the treatment he needs. That's why he says, the news about cuts to Medicaid in this state, are devastating.

"Honestly that would hurt allot of people because they don't realize a lot of people who are having to work check by check, it's hard for them to save money," says James Martinez.

James is just one of many residents that would be impacted if the cuts are finalized. In fact, Louisiana has some of the highest Medicaid statistics in the nation.

"We have such a high percentage of Medicaid patients. We have about 25 percent of the population which is on Medicaid and about 20 percent that have no insurance at all so cuts like these can has significant impacts on services," says Dr. David Holcombe.

And every year the state of Louisiana spends nearly 8 billion dollars for Medicaid patients, and cutting the budget 860 million dollars raises a lot of questions.

"My mother just turned 93 and I'm really worried about how it is going to affect her, she lives on social security, a very small income," says Lelia Whitehead.

But there are not many answers.

"This is all very new and nothing is really written in stone here and no one really knows what the impact will be," says Dr. Holcombe

That's not very comforting news for patients like James, and heading into surgery, he says he wishes something else could go under the knife of the government.

"I mean there are allot of things out there that they can cut besides Medicare and Medicaid," says James Martinez.

We called several different hospitals to find out what these budget cuts mean for patients and Medicaid providers and even the staff doesn't know for sure what changes will take place.



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