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A paid family leave policy would fuel a stronger Louisiana

Most workers encounter a period in their life when they need time off from work to take care of their own health or that of a loved one, whether it be a newborn baby or a sick family member. Unfortunately, the vast majority of workers in Louisiana cannot take time off from work to provide that care while still getting paid.

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Back from the Brink: The 2018 Louisiana Legislative Sessions

Louisiana’s 2018 legislative year began with one overriding objective: to solve a looming“fiscal cliff” caused by $1.4 billion in temporary tax revenue that was expiring on July 1.

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Video: Budget cuts threaten to eliminate SNAP

In Louisiana, nearly 900,000 people need help each month to afford food.

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  • Click here to tell your members of Congress that you support the Senate farm bill’s bipartisan provisions that protect SNAP and oppose the harmful cuts to SNAP included in the House farm bill.
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The Daily Dime

The national unemployment rate is at a near-historic low, but it’s important to remember that unemployment statistics only count adults who are unemployed but actively looking for work.

Number of the Day

59.4 - Louisiana’s seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate in July 2018, meaning 6 in 10 working age adults were working or actively looking or work. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Our Two Cents Blog

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Medicaid expansion in Louisiana has been a major success story. Since eligibility for the health insurance program was expanded in July 2016, more than 480,000 low-income adults have gained access to critical health services. But some critics of the program, including the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and policy analyst Christopher Jacobs, argue that the expansion has diverted resources from Louisiana’s “traditional” Medicaid program, which covers children, seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities. In reality, Louisiana’s historic coverage expansion has been accomplished with nearly zero additional state general fund dollars, making it a great deal for taxpayers.

That means programs and services that do require state general funds (like the traditional Medicaid program) have not been affected by the expansion.

Medicaid expansion is funded through a state-federal partnership. In the 2018-19 state fiscal year, Louisiana is responsible for 6.5 percent of Medicaid expansion costs, while the federal government pays 93.5 percent. To cover its share, the state levies a fee on Medicaid managed care insurance companies and hospitals, which has largely kept the state from spending state general funds for Medicaid expansion to date. In future years, as the federal matching rate drops to 90 percent of Medicaid expansion costs, the state will have to cover a portion of the its 10 percent cost share with state general fund dollars, but the return on investment will continue to greatly outweigh costs.

In FY 2019, the hospital and insurance company fees are expected to generate approximately $260 million, while the state’s cost share for Medicaid expansion is an estimated $210 million. That’s a difference of $50 million – money that can be spent on other health care priorities such as waiver services for people with disabilities who want to be cared for at home instead of an institution. Read more

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