Louisiana shelves cut to Medicaid hospice program
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has scrapped plans to shutter the state's Medicaid hospice program in February, meaning the state will continue to provide end-of-life care to people on their death beds who can't afford private insurance.
Jindal's health secretary Bruce Greenstein made the announcement Wednesday evening — as hospice program supporters were gathering for a candlelight vigil to protest the cut — that his department will use grant funding to cover the hospice program costs this year.
Elimination of the hospice program would have made Louisiana one of only two states that don't pay for hospice care through its Medicaid program.
Jindal's plan to cut the care for the terminally ill faced strong resistance from state senators, who were seeking ways to stop the cut.
MELINDA DESLATTE,Associated Press