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New Report: It’s Time to Raise the Wage in Louisiana

Louisiana workers are long overdue for a pay raise. Although the state's unemployment rate is at its lowest rate in a decade, far too many workers are not earning enough to make ends meet.

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State fiscal situation is an embarrassment

The governor's fiscal year 2019 budget should be taken as a very serious warning of what can happen to vital state investments in health care, education and social services if the political deadlock in Baton Rouge is not broken.

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Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Work

While the idea of a work requirement may sound good to some, the reality is that it would take away health coverage, create more red tape and make it harder for many people who want to work to find employment.

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The Daily Dime

Members of the Senate Finance Committee met Sunday to review the Draconian budget bill approved last week by the House. Some, like Chairman Eric Lafleur of Ville Platte, were horrified by the cuts to health care and graduate medical education.

Number of the Day

66,099 - Number of employees on the state payroll as of December 2017, down from 100,473 in Fiscal Year 2008. Nationwide, the state and local public sector workforce is the smallest it’s been since 1967 as a share of the civilian American civilian workforce.  (Source: Division of Administration and The New York Times)

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Our Two Cents Blog

Today’s report on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion confirms what we have known from the start: The federal health care dollars Louisiana captured by extending coverage to the working poor support jobs and economic activity in every corner of the state.

“This study should be required reading for every Louisiana legislator as they confront our fiscal crisis. It proves that expanding Medicaid has helped our economy and the state budget and was the right decision all along,” LBP Executive Director Jan Moller said.

The facts are clear:

  • Medicaid expansion has created and retained more than 19,000 jobs since mid-2016.
  • The expansion has more than paid for itself when you count the tax receipts from people whose jobs are tied to the increased coverage.
  • The $1.85 billion in federal funding made available by expansion has decreased Louisiana’s reliance on state general fund dollars to provide health care for low-income adults.

The most important benefit from Medicaid expansion is the health coverage that lets nearly 500,000 Louisiana adults sleep securely at night, knowing that if they get sick they will have access to the doctors and medicine they need without going bankrupt.

But health coverage expansion is also important for our economy. This report is a reminder that federal health care dollars don’t fall into a black hole. They help pay the salaries of nurses, physicians, pharmacists and therapists – and the services they provide help make our entire workforce better prepared for the challenges of a 21st century economy.

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