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Lawmakers criticize few details in state health cuts

Louisiana lawmakers are bristling about getting few details and no ability to decide the $523 million in budget cuts Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has made to health care programs.

Several complained the governor's staff wasn't explaining the gravity of the slashing and the implications on the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics that care for the poor and uninsured.

The cuts are tied to a drop in Louisiana's federal Medicaid funding that was passed in congressional legislation after the state's 2012-13 budget was already crafted.

The Jindal administration levied two-thirds of the cuts on the LSU safety-net hospital system, which will lose $329 million. LSU health care chief Fred Cerise says his board has asked him to draw up plans that would spread out the cuts without closing hospitals.

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