“For them to have struck down parts of it would have been extremely problematic for all of us,” said Louisiana Hospital Association president John Matessino. “At least we now have a little clarity of what is going to be expected in health care. There are going to be a lot of changes going on in the next several years,” Matessino said.
Matessino said the impact of a cut in federal Medicaid funding that’s in a compromise congressional transportation bill “has me much more concerned than anything that came out of the Supreme Court today.”
The federal transportation bill would prompt a $1.1 billion cut in Louisiana’s Medicaid health insurance program for the poor, including a potential 10 percent cut in reimbursement to hospitals for care delivered.
“That is a bad situation,” Matessino said.
Matessino said hospitals have always been in favor of getting more people covered by health insurance.
“Obviously, they answered the constitutional question of whether individuals can be forced to buy insurance. People who can afford to buy need to have health insurance. Our hospitals get hit all the time with these people who think they are bullet proof and they are not,” he said.
Louisiana State Medical Society president Dr. Andy P. Blaylock said he was disappointed in the decision. However, “we stand ready to support patients and their physicians during this time of change,” he said in a statement issued shortly after the decision’s release.
“Our challenge is, and always has been, to improve our system by making it more affordable and accessible for all Americans without sacrificing choice and quality of care,” said Blaylock.
“The LSMS will move forward with an open minded, constructive approach to building on the positive aspects of the law” while working with the Louisiana delegation and Congress “to address the strong concerns physicians still have regarding protecting patients’ access to care … and preserving the rights of physicians and patients to choose their own health care services,” Blaylock said.