BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – To cope with budget troubles, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has steadily depleted a trust fund for elderly services created with an infusion of federal cash a decade ago.
When Jindal took office, the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly contained more than $830 million. Today, the balance has dropped to $410 million, according to the treasurer's office.
By the end of the current fiscal year, it is projected to sink to $250 million or less.
Officials involved with creating the fund expected the state to use largely the interest and investment earnings and leave the principal alone, so the fund would be available for decades.
Instead, the Jindal administration keeps dipping into the trust fund to plug health care budget gaps and finance Medicaid services at nursing homes.