Letter: Legislation protects health and jobs

People in our community rely on Women’s & Children’s Hospital, The Regional Medical Center of Acadiana and other local hospitals to provide critical, life-saving services. We are committed to continuing to provide the highest quality of care for our residents around the clock.

For the past four years, you have heard about health-care cuts and balancing the state budget. After a while, many forget that those cuts translate into real challenges for our health-care system. They impact services, health care jobs, insurance costs and our local economy. They negatively impact everyone — not just Medicaid patients. Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, filed HB 532 and HB 533 to help stabilize the health-care delivery system in Louisiana by drawing down more federal funds, which would help combat rising insurance costs and protect health-care services and jobs. These two hospital-supported constitutional amendments would greatly improve the ability of Louisiana’s hospitals to generate a stable source of funding, and protect other providers that are currently generating funds for Medicaid, such as nursing homes and pharmacists. This legislation is a step toward solving some of the more-pressing health-care problems that we are facing in our state — and the best part is, it will not be passed along to patients or businesses.

I strongly urge you to contact your state legislators and ask them to support HB 532 and HB 533. Women’s & Children’s has been a part of this community for 30 years and Regional Medical for over 25 years. We want to continue contributing to the health and economy of our community. You can learn more about these bills at http://www.lhaonline.org/protecthealthcare.

I will gladly make myself available to elaborate on why it is so critical to support this legislation.

Kathy Bobbs

president and CEO

The Regional Health System of Acadiana

Lafayette