BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s health department offered two scenarios Wednesday for slashing $131 million in spending over the remaining five months of the budget year, if lawmakers refuse to raise taxes. The state health secretary described either option as “catastrophic.”

Nearly all the cuts would be levied on the privatized LSU hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured, under the first scenario. With lost federal matching dollars, the reduction would reach $315 million, a 24 percent cut to spending on the hospital contracts, but with less than half a year to spread out the hit.
Under the other proposal, all optional

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