Louisiana Budget Project, a Baton-Rouge based nonprofit that analyzes government budgetary effects on low-income residents, is warning that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision not to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s voluntary expansion of the Medicaid program in Louisiana, combined with a 25 percent cut to the LSU Health System that provides health care services to thousands of Louisiana’s uninsured could be the makings of an economic nightmare for the state.

Lawmakers met at the Capitol this week to hear the administration’s plan for handling a nearly $900 million shortfall in federal Medicaid funding brought on by a prior year miscalculation.

“The latest cuts mean Louisiana’s unique statewide network of charity hospitals will have been cut by 36 percent since 2008-09,” LBP’s Steve Spires writes. “And the rejection of the Medicaid expansion means there would be no viable plan to care for the low-income Louisianans who rely on these hospitals – and affiliated clinics – for basic health-care needs.”

The Times-Picayune reports that LSU Health System’s board has not ruled out closing hospitals, which would mean longer travel times at greater expense for some of Louisiana’s poorest residents.

Read the full LBP report here.

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