May 11, 2018, Kimberly Marselas, McKnight's Long-Term Care News - Louisiana officials on Thursday mailed notices of potential evictions to 37,000 Medicaid beneficiaries who could soon lose coverage, including at least 19,000 who might be forced out of nursing homes if the state's budget impasse continues.
Even before the letters reached their recipients, calls began pouring into a Department of Health call center that extended its hours to address concerns of worried residents and their family members.
Others are taking their complaints straight to legislators, who failed during a special session in February to create new revenue streams the state's governor says are required to make up for $1.4 billion in short-term taxes that end June 30.
A petition started by a Louisiana social worker to pressure lawmakers to avoid the nursing home evictions had more than 12,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon.
More than 80% of the state's nursing home residents could be evicted if the state ends an expansion program that allows those with limited annual incomes of up to $2,250 to also receive Medicaid.
State Republicans have criticized the letters about potential cancellation as premature “fear-mongering.”
“The decision by the governor and this administration to give eviction notices to the elderly population of Louisiana, without question, is a political move. It's egregious in my personal opinion,” said House GOP leader Lance Harris (R-Alexandria), according to the Associated Press. “We don't even know what the Senate is going to do yet.”
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