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Perceptions of Health Care Reform among 18+ Louisiana Residents: Challenges and Opportunities

Most of Louisiana’s federal Medicaid funding is directed to the 10 Charity Hospitals operated by Louisiana State University’s Health Care Services Division. Before Hurricane Katrina, critics argued that this system was difficult to navigate and lacked sufficient funds for providing effective care to low-income Louisiana residents.

The post-Katrina climate provides both challenges and opportunities for the state to address health care reform and funding issues. One proposal is to shift funds away from the current Charity Hospital system to the new alternative Medical Homes coordinated care system in which individuals’ primary physicians help them and their families access the health care they need.

Of 800 age 18+ Louisianans surveyed...

  • 66 percent support using some Charity Hospital funds to expand the Medical Homes system’s availability
  • 52 percent believe Louisiana health care is currently in a state of crisis or has major problems
  • 89 percent consider making health care affordable for all residents extremely or very important
  • 83 percent agree that all Louisianans should have access to the same basic health care coverage
  • 77 percent agree that employers, individuals and the government should contribute to a system to provide everyone with the same basic health care coverage
  • 60 percent would be more likely to vote for a candidate for public office supporting creation of a system to make the same basic health care coverage available to all state residents at affordable rates

This telephone survey of 800 age 18+ Louisiana residents was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research between April 23rd and May 12th, 2007. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report’s co-author, Joanne Binette, at 202-434-6303.

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