UMC launches campaign to protect funding amid budget cuts

UMC launches campaign to protect funding amid budget cuts
FOX 8 Photo

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - University Medical Center has launched a campaign to protect its funding from potential cuts.

The hospital's funding is on that chopping block as lawmakers start day three of a special session to avoid a fiscal cliff.

Lawmakers have just eleven days to fix the state's budget, and that is including Memorial Day and the weekends.

Take those days out, and there are just six working days left to fix a $650 million problem.

Lawmakers are back at work in their second special session of the year after passing a budget the Governor vetoed. Lawmakers themselves weren't too fond of the budget either.

The different versions of the budget in the House and Senate slashed everything from higher education to health care.

Potential cuts for places like University Medical Center that have ties to both higher ed and health care could be devastating.

In fact, Governor Edwards said under that house budget, both of the state's medical schools would have closed and many hospitals with state-support wouldn't have survived either.

The governor said revenue needs to be raised, but if it isn't, the cuts won't come from hospitals.

"If we will fix the cliff at $648 million, and all that means is we have the same general fund next year as we have this year, we're still gonna make cuts, but we won't cut our partner hospitals," said Edwards. "We can literally cut the tax burden of the state of Louisiana from this year to next by $400 million and still fund all of our partner hospitals without a cut."

Due to the uncertainty, Lafayette General Hospital actually sent layoff notices to it's nearly 800 employees last month, warning that they could be out of a job and that the hospital could close by July 1.

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