Wednesday was day two of the special budget session, and when hospital employees from around the state met up at the capitol to fight to keep their facilities open.
Doctors, staff and management from University Hospital and Clinics were part of the crowd that packed the governor’s press room to rally for full funding.
"Clearly illustrates the good that can come from a public-private partnership," said Lafayette General President David Callecod in his appeal to the governor and lawmakers.
UHC brought strength in numbers, with dozens of employees in tow, and Callecod took the lead.
"We’ve delivered in our promise to the state in becoming a public-private partner. It is now in the hands of the legislature to fully fund health care so that we may continue…so that we may continue to provide the best patient care, and continue educating doctors for Louisiana," said Callecod.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said he agreed with the healthcare professionals. He also acknowledged that legislators should have come up with a fix for the nearly $650 million cliff back in Feb. He added they’ll have no choice but to fix it now, including fully funded health care.
"We know how we’re supposed to treat the most vulnerable. We know how we’re supposed to treat the least among us," said Edwards.
Medical professionals say if healthcare isn’t funded, the repercussions will go far beyond those who are under-insured or have no insurance at all.
"They would inundate our ERs throughout the Acadiana area, affecting other people in our area’s access to health care as well. It snowballs. This would have a massive effect on the whole state and all of the people in Louisiana, not just our most vulnerable," said Jacklyn Pitts, Regulatory Manager at UHC.
"We do need to fully fund our partner hospitals, our medical schools, our Medicaid program, and we can do it," said Edwards.