Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit Louisiana’s Businesses and the Economy

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.

  • Louisiana businesses will gain from a healthier and more productive workforce. Around 200,000 working Louisianans who lack health insurance would be eligible for Medicaid expansion. These workers are predominately in tourism and hospitality, construction and retail, as well as health care and child care. Fewer missed days of work and better management of chronic health conditions will make Louisiana’s workforce more competitive.
  • The ACA will bring billions in new federal health care revenues to Louisiana, as much as $15.8 billion over the next decade. In addition to extending coverage to hundreds of thousands of Louisianans, this new revenue will help make sure that health care providers are paid for their services, and support jobs and businesses beyond health care due to the economic “multiplier effect.”  Medicaid expansion will help create an estimated 15,600 jobs and generate new economic activity in every parish across the state.
  • On the other hand, rejecting Medicaid expansion could expose Louisiana’s employers to millions of dollars in unnecessary penalties. According to the national tax preparation firm Jackson-Hewitt, employers in Louisiana could pay more than $70 million a year in penalties as an unintended consequence of the decision to reject expansion, when instead they should be seeing the benefits of healthier and more productive employees.
  • By improving health outcomes, Medicaid expansion will strengthen the private insurance market. But without expansion, the growing cost of providing “uncompensated care” to the uninsured will put more financial stress on health care providers, increasing upward pressure on insurance premiums. That means failure to accept Medicaid expansion will not only harm families and lead to poorer health outcomes, but will unnecessarily raise private insurance premiums, pushing higher costs on to families and businesses.
  • Medicaid expansion is an affordable option for Louisiana due to the increased federal funding. Over the next 10 years the state could even see as much as $368 million in budget savings, according to a recent Department of Health and Hospitals report.

The evidence is clear: accepting the Medicaid expansion option is the right choice for Louisiana businesses. If the state rejects this opportunity, our federal tax dollars will be sent to other states that choose to reap the benefits, putting Louisiana at a competitive disadvantage. Medicaid expansion means a healthier workforce and new jobs. Rejecting expansion means poorer health, higher premiums and fewer jobs. Louisiana needs to move forward with Medicaid expansion.

Welcome to Invest in Louisiana, formerly known as Louisiana Budget Project. We're excited to introduce our new name, brand, and website. Take a look around!