On Election Day, November 4 (and during early voting Oct. 21-28), I ask
that you vote “yes” to two constitutional amendments that
will improve the ability of North Oaks and other Louisiana hospitals and
providers to sustain quality health care in our communities.
For the past 6 years, hospitals across Louisiana have experienced very
serious financial challenges that have negatively impacted health care
services and reduced jobs for health care workers. The state has cut hospital
funding over and over again, totaling more than 26 percent since 2009,
leaving the state’s Medicaid budget in grim shape. For North Oaks
alone, the nonstop cuts have left us receiving only $0.42 for every $1
in actual costs to care for a Medicaid patient. In total, North Oaks’
funding cuts (federal, state and private insurers) have exceeded $13 million
in Fiscal Years Ending 2010-2013.
Louisiana cannot continue on this course. It is critical that action is
taken to address the situation. If passed, these constitutional amendments
will allow hospitals to partner with the state to draw down additional,
available federal health care dollars–a solution used in 40 other
states at this time. It’s a solution that will help:
- Stabilize funding our health care system
- Reduce the pressure on businesses and individuals who pay for private insurance
and are forced to pay more in higher health care insurance premiums to
cover costs for under- and un-insured patients (known as cost-shifting)
- Protect health care access for everyone--especially our most vulnerable
citizens, including seniors, children and the disabled.
These amendments will NOT raise taxes. In fact, this effort will help
keep the cost of health care insurance from rising at such a rapid rate
for everyone, including the business community. (Visit
to learn how and why legislators and a growing number of business organizations
are supporting the amendments.)
When these amendments are passed, hospitals and other providers will have
a stable source of funding. This stability will allow the legislature
to focus state resources on higher education and other groups dependent
on state general funds.
North Oaks Health System’s mission is to optimize the citizens of
this region’s health care experiences through compassion and innovation
for years to come. Passage of these amendments will uphold our ability to do so.
Please vote “YES” to Constitutional Amendments 1 and 2 to
protect health care in Louisiana and North Oaks, your community-based
James E. Cathey Jr.
President/Chief Executive Officer of North Oaks Health System