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The American Health Care Act would be devastating for Louisiana

Posted on June 20, 2017

BATON ROUGE, LA – A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project details the ways that the new federal healthcare bill being drafted on Capitol Hill could hurt Louisiana citizens, healthcare providers and the state budget.

The report by LBP senior policy analyst Jeanie Donovan, AHCA and Louisiana, shows that the Medicaid expansion that has helped bring Louisiana’s uninsured rate to record lows would be phased out under the bill. The state would have to take on additional costs for treating the uninsured, and healthcare providers that depend on federal Medicaid dollars would be forced to cut jobs and services.

“If you have employer-sponsored health coverage, if you are newly covered under Medicaid expansion, if you have a disability or a child with a disability, or if you’re a senior citizen, the AHCA has the potential to greatly reduce or even eliminate your health coverage. We want to ensure that Louisianans are paying attention and understand exactly how they might be affected should the American Health Care Act become law,” says Jan Moller, Director of the Louisiana Budget Project.

The report is available for download on our new site, Coverage Matters LA, and on LBP’s website, www.labudget.org. In addition to the report, the new site is a resource for people throughout the state who want to know more about the proposed health care policy changes and take action to protect their coverage.

Among the key findings, the AHCA would reduce the federal Medicaid budget by $834 billion over the next 10 years, and states would be responsible for covering the difference. In Louisiana, that would mean a 7.9 percent cut in federal Medicaid funds over the next decade, resulting in a cost-shift of $8 billion in Medicaid costs from the federal government to the state over that time period.

“This bill would harm residents of every state, but the impacts on Louisiana would be particularly damaging given the state’s challenging fiscal environment and relatively large Medicaid population. We should all be gravely concerned when proposed federal policies would substantially reduce funding to our state, which benefits from federal programs at a greater rate than we pay into them,” says Jeanie Donovan, Senior Policy Analyst at Louisiana Budget Project.

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