Community hospitals stand ready to treat patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospitals provide a safe haven for Louisiana’s sick at their most vulnerable and life-threatening moments.

After years of government cuts, Louisiana’s community hospitals need a more reliable source of funding to fulfill their mission of providing care for Louisiana’s families. The fact remains that over the past six years, base payments to Louisiana’s community hospitals have been severely cut because of the current financial system in Louisiana. This is important to all Louisianians, because health care cuts negatively impact access to care and health care jobs in our state.

Amendment 2 would allow hospitals to partner with the state to bring in additional, available federal funding that would be used for patient care. This type of funding program is used to stabilize health care in hospitals in 40 other states. In addition, Amendment 2 would provide assurances to hospitals that their investment into the care for Louisiana’s sick and needy will not be raided to fill holes in the state budget for services unrelated to healthcare. For this reason, the Louisiana Hospital Stabilization Fund needs the protection that only the state constitution can provide.

By establishing a more sustainable source of funding, hospitals could invest more in life-saving technology, wellness programs and health screenings, as well as protect the quality care currently provided to all residents.

As a representative for the hospital community, I urge voters to support amendments 1 and 2, which seek to protect health care services for seniors, children and the disabled and improve access to quality care for everyone.

Paul Salles

president and CEO, Louisiana Hospital Association

Baton Rouge