Louisiana lawmakers approved a $23 million plan to help stabilize the state's charity hospital system. The bailout, proposed by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, will be used to reopen emergency room beds at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge and prevent the closure of two other public hospitals. LSU Health Care Services Division, which operates eight of the state's 10 charity hospitals, said it still faces a $15 million shortfall after the new cash. Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc, Blanco's chief budget adviser, said the money is meant to be bridge funding until Blanco's healthcare summit in March. The summit is intended to help determine a course for future healthcare policy and the charity hospitals. -- by the Associated Press
La. charity hospitals to get $23 million in aid
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