- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to block the creation of new Medicaid-financed centers aimed at helping “medically fragile” children.

With an 85-0 vote Wednesday, the House gave final legislative passage to a measure placing a one-year moratorium on pediatric day health care centers, not allowing any new ones into the state-funded program until July 2017.

The moratorium will begin July 1.

The bill by Rep. Rogers Pope, a Denham Springs Republican, heads next to the governor’s desk.

Supporters say the temporary halt to new licenses will give the health department time to improve oversight for a four-year-old Medicaid program whose cost has grown to $30 million this year. The department is rewriting program regulations.

Opponents say the moratorium will deny specialized health services to disabled children.

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House Bill 498: www.legis.la.gov

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