It didn’t take long for the Louisiana House’s petulance, and in particular that of self-styled Republican “fiscal conservatives,” to come back to haunt it. The possibility that the GOP would put itself into a political bind became reality when its own recent action stymied its ability to pass a budget to its liking.
Earlier this week, supported by House Republican leaders, the body made a rule change that would require two-thirds approval for any use of funds that were deemed “one-time” in nature – asset sales, privatization proceeds, and dipping into funds with dedicated sources of revenue – in a budget beyond what the forecasted increase in state general fund revenues would be for the next fiscal year. This meant that when the state’s operating budget came up for discussion, cuts of $93 million needed to happen.
So the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Democrat state Rep. Jim Fannin, proposed hacking $81 million of that out of money that would fund the transition of Louisiana’s Medicaid system from its present fee-for-service arrangement to a more efficient coordinated care network.