Senate asks to sign off on hospital deals

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The Louisiana Senate approved a resolution Tuesday afternoon requiring deals for private operation of LSU hospitals to receive the blessing of its budget panel.

The Senate approved, without discussion, a resolution bestowing the authority on the Senate Finance Committee.

There was no objection to Senate Resolution 28 by state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, which set out the sentiment of the senators and will not become law.

The resolution’s passage came as the LSU Board of Supervisors prepared to vote Wednesday on cooperative endeavor agreements involving LSU hospitals in New Orleans and Lafayette.

The Jindal administration is also working on agreements for private sector management and operation of hospitals in Houma, Lake Charles and Bogalusa, which are supposed to be completed by June 30. No money is appropriated in the budget for any of the hospitals being privatized.

Deals are also in the works for facilities in Pineville and Monroe that operate under the LSU Health Science Center in Shreveport.

Legislators are uneasy about what’s happening in their districts and about decisions made by the administration that scrap the state’s charity hospital system which has long cared for the poor and uninsured while providing medical education.