In this time when Lake Charles is looking forward to a population boom and increased jobs and businesses, the state of Louisiana is in dire straits. With nearly $200 million in budget shortfalls. the government has it's cost cutting shears out and, from the looks of things, not much will be spared.

One area that no one wants to see cut is health and hospitals and the Department of health and Hospitals is saying that, once again, Moss Regional could be in a lot of trouble. The beleaguered hospital is no stranger to cuts in services and funding, but with such a large shortfall, it could spell real trouble.

Our state legislature is now in a three-week session to sort out all this fiscal mess, but budget cuts are beginning immediately. According to sources, there will be a $64 million cut that is due by the end of June, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you factor in matching federal dollars, the total cuts over the next few months is actually closer to $169 million

For many people in this area, Moss is the only source of medical treatment and it's closing could leave hundreds of people with no alternate choices. Naturally, the big talk from Baton Rouge is raising taxes to help the state out of it's shortfall. Big shocker there, isn't it?

Lake Charles Memorial, owner of the clinic, released the following statement:

"With absent funding, The Alliance of Public Private Partnership Hospitals, which have resulted in documented improvements in care delivery, costs savings per patient and access to care, will cease to go forward as structured. This result would set the state's safety net hospital system back decades, and either mean the State would have to get back in the Charity Hospital business or as a matter of policy, elect to not provide safety net care.  The Alliance is committed to working with the Governor and the Legislature to make sure neither of those doomsday scenarios come to fruition."