Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 7:28 am
Lawmakers face an onslaught of decisions every day at the capitol: vote up or down, pass this amendment, defer that bill... A few key players in this week's Medicaid expansion debate explain why they voted the way they did.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:37 am
The legislature technically decided Wednesday to put off accepting federal funding for health care expansion, which would include more low-income individuals under Medicaid. A series of bills were voluntarily deferred, both in the House and Senate, to be taken up next week. A bill by Rep. Barbara Norton was involuntarily deferred - that’s typically a death sentence for a bill.
The representatives that voted to shelve Norton’s bill did so because they’re unsure of what will happen if they accept the money - despite that the Legislative Fiscal Office testifying that the program would initially save the state money.
A new report estimates that nearly 353,000 Louisianans will be eligible for federal subsidies to offset the cost of a health insurance premium, making coverage affordable for lower-income families when the new health care law takes effect next year. But the head of the Louisiana Consumer Healthcare Coalition finds that many residents don’t understand how these "premium tax credits" work. Moriba Karamoko said even the word “tax” in the name has a very chilling effect.