Louisiana governor rejects HHS health plan

It's beginning to look like HHS Secretary's Michael Leavitt's proposal for reforming healthcare in Louisiana is getting a big "no sale" from the state's leaders. Gov. Kathleen Blanco flatly rejected Leavitt's plan, which would involve using federal funds for the uninsured to provide health insurance for just about half the state's uninsured, calling it "an insult to our intelligence." Blanco says the plan would not pay for what Leavitt claims, as it provides no new funding, leaving a projected $1.5 billion gap in healthcare costs unpaid for.

Blanco plans to continue restructuring the state's healthcare system, which will include expanding Medicaid eligibility. Another state leader, Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Fred Cerise, said that Leavitt's plan also fails to give physicians the higher pay needed to get them involved--that instead, it left them at too-low Medicaid rates and discounted them further in the insurance model.

For more information on the dispute:
- read this Associated Press article