Flanked by supporters, Louisiana District 3 Rep. Barbara Norton of Shreveport explained her motivations yesterday for filing a bill that would require the state to sign on to an expansion of the Medicaid program and participate in the Affordable Care Act. Estimates are that up to 400,000 more Louisianans could be eligible for Medicaid next year and thereafter if the state chose to expand the program, with the federal government picking up most of the tab. Gov. Bobby Jindal has criticized such a move, calling Medicaid an inefficient and poorly managed program.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:04 am
The state legislature’s Joint Insurance Committee met Wednesday to discuss the Affordable Care Act and two crucial, yet voluntary, measures: setting up state health insurance exchanges and expanding Medicaid.
At that meeting a representative from the Public Affairs Research Council said Louisiana doesn’t have enough information to make a truly informed decision on implementing the healthcare reform law.
PAR’s Principle Health Advisor Don Gregory recently authored a study about the research done so far on the implications of expanding Medicaid in Louisiana. He says other states have worked to figure out not just the costs, but also the benefits of insuring the uninsured.
The deadline is approaching this week for governors who opted out of provisions of the Affordable Care Act to change their minds. Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal is refusing to set up a state-run health insurance exchange for people who can’t afford plans in the current market.
Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is turning up the pressure on Jindal. She wants the state to establish a system under the new guidelines instead of having the federal government impose general standards.