A new analysis from the Louisiana Budget Project shows that while House Bills 532 and 533 would bring new federal dollars in to the state’s healthcare budget, other provisions would ultimately bind lawmakers in a way that could compromise Louisiana’s ability to fund basic services in the future. Click to continue »
The effort to extend health coverage to low-income Louisianans does not end with today’s disappointing vote in the House, or yesterday’s setback in the Senate. The Legislature’s decision doesn’t change the fact that too many of our hard-working fellow citizens do not have access to basic health security.
Taking advantage of this coverage opportunity would have saved money in the budget and spurred economic growth by creating a healthier, more productive workforce. Most importantly, it would have saved lives. It’s sad that these facts sometimes got lost in this debate, but there is still time for the administration to have a change of heart.
A bipartisan plan is coming together in the Louisiana Legislature that urges the Jindal administration to extend health coverage to low-income adults in an innovative way by creating the Louisiana Health Care Independence Program. This new private insurance option — the “Louisiana plan” — would be a major step toward improving and strengthening health care in Louisiana, for several reasons: Click to continue »
Higher Education Commissioner Jim Purcell testified in the Senate Finance Committee this morning, and the news was bleak. We knew that state support for higher education had been cut severely in recent years – at least $625 million since 2008 – but we weren’t aware that it was at its lowest level since the 1950s. But the chart below suggests things are much worse than we thought.
A new plan is emerging in the Louisiana Legislature to extend health coverage using federal Medicaid revenue available as part of the health care reform law. Instead of simply expanding the current Medicaid program, the state would use Medicaid dollars to help uninsured adults buy private coverage. But the Jindal administration remains opposed to this new plan.
A recent essay by the Pelican Institute for Public Policy attempts to explain why expanding health coverage is a bad idea. While opponents of this opportunity raise some valid concerns, they are outweighed by the clear evidence that expanding coverage would make Louisiana healthier and improve the state’s economy.
Louisiana legislators have an unprecedented opportunity to boost public health, improve the state’s business climate and save money in the state budget when they take up bills to expand Medicaid coverage this week.
The opportunity to extend coverage to low-income adults using mostly federal dollars means up to 400,000 Louisianans would have access to preventive care and would no longer be one illness or injury away from bankruptcy.
“This is literally a life and death decision for many working Louisianans who cannot afford health coverage,” said Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project.
To help add context to the important debates scheduled this week in the House and Senate health committees, LBP has produced new fact sheets that explain why this coverage opportunity is good news for Louisiana businesses, for public health and for the state budget.
A fourth report, “The facts about Medicaid expansion in Louisiana” dispels some of the arguments being made by those who oppose expansion.
New safeguards are needed to curb the growth of costly tax exemptions, rebates, credits and other loopholes that detract from the state’s ability to fund basic services. The Legislature should ensure that these tax breaks fulfill their original promise by requiring periodic reviews to evaluate the state’s return-on-investment, and by making it easier to eliminate breaks that don’t measure up.
Expanding Medicaid in Louisiana will improve health outcomes for families and reduce mortality rates. It will also provide significant benefits to Louisiana’s businesses and the economy by fostering a stronger workforce, strengthening the insurance market and creating new jobs. Click to continue »