Another study shows ACA reduces health insurance costs in LA
Louisianans who buy health coverage through marketplace exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act are likely to see their insurance premiums decrease or stay about the same thanks to marketplace competitions, tax credits and new consumer protections. Taking into account age, tobacco use and other factors, average premium costs for customers in the individual market could drop by 25 percent or more, a new RAND Corp. study says. Only 4 percent of Louisianans buy health coverage through the individual market, a number RAND expects could jump to 9.6 percent after reform. The vast majority of other Louisianans — about 75 percent — will continue to get coverage through their job or a family member’s job, Medicare or Medicaid.
LBP’s “State of Working 2013” featured on NPR in Baton Rouge
LBP analyst David Gray spoke with WRKF-FM in Baton Rouge about the “State of Working Louisiana 2013” report, which gives a snapshot of the state’s economic performance from the perspective of the people who work in it. The report found unemployment has crept upward since the start of the Great Recession, and workers’ wages have shown a net increase of only 1 percent over the last 30 years despite the fact they produce 35 percent more per hour today than in 1979. You can read NPR’s story and listen to their report here.
Report: State economic performance, governor’s popularity closely linked
Louisiana’s economy is one of the weakest in the country, and the sluggish performance is a likely reason Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval ratings are in the tank. That’s according to a new report in Governing magazine that tries to find a correlation between a state’s economic health and the popularity of its governor. The magazine looked at variables such as state GDP growth, changes in unemployment rates and personal income and concluded Louisiana’s economic performance ranked 40th nationally (Washington state was first; Arkansas last). But it said Jindal’s “weak communications skills” are as much to blame for his low public approval as the state’s middling economy. “Jindal’s lagging popularity is based on irritating powerful groups of Louisiana constituents, including teachers, state workers, Democrats and businesses who doubt that his policies are doing them any good,” Pearson Cross, a political scientist at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, told the magazine. “If Louisiana’s economy were truly booming, Jindal’s popularity (would) be higher.”
Landrieu pushes congressional delegation to seek delay in flood insurance hikes
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is asking the four bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate to delay some increases in flood insurance premiums resulting from a 2012 law, Nola.com reports. A letter by Landrieu, which she is asking other members of the state congressional delegation to sign, says, “Last year, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and to make it self-sustainable. This legislation aims to make NFIP actuarially sound but it fails to make flood insurance accessible and affordable, leaving millions of policies holders in Louisiana and across the country in dire straits and facing exorbitant rate increases.”