DALLAS — Louisiana’s string of 10 state charity hospitals is imperiled by a drastic cut in federal assistance to the Medicaid program that serves 1.2 million low income and disabled residents.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein and interim LSU System president Williams Jenkins told lawmakers Thursday that an unexpected early end to a temporary increase in federal funding to the state’s health care system will cost Louisiana $860 million from the programs $7.7 billion budget in fiscal 2013.

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