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.
Almost $83 million in cuts to healthcare programs and services went into effect Friday to shore up a mid-year deficit in the state budget. These are separate from a previous round of cuts made in July.
The latest round of reductions includes cuts to services for at-risk children and low-income moms, as well as a one percent drop in the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary Medicaid services.
Nearly $52 million in state cuts to Medicaid services go into effect Friday, Feb. 1. The reductions are part of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals’ response to a mid-year shortfall in Louisiana’s general fund.
The cuts include the elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women and a healthy parenting program for first-time mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary care services through Medicaid will be dropped by 1 percent.
If women were allowed to get birth control without a prescription, Jindal argues, employers with moral objections would not have to pay for it and Democrats could no longer accuse Republicans of being against contraception.
Alma Stewart and James Gilmore, from the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, who want Gov. Jindal to reconsider his resistance to implementing elements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Jim talks with LSU Professor of Music and jazz virtuoso Bill Grimes about the passing of jazz pioneer Dave Brubeck.
LSU’s new Director of Choral Studies, Professor John Dickson, talks about the LSU A Capella Choir’s 63rd annual candlelight concert this Sunday, Dec. 2.
Local businessman and gay rights activist Joe Traigle, whose new group Louisiana Truth will monitor and fact check Gov. Jindal’s public statements. Traigle says the governor does not practice what he preaches.
Karen Kennedy, executive director of the Arthritis Alliance of Louisiana, discusses the probable ill-effects of the governor’s refusal to implement parts of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also called “Obamacare”.
The federal Affordable Care Act requires states to have health insurance exchanges. This Friday, Nov.16, is the deadline for states to tell the government whether they will set up exchanges on their own or let the federal government do it for them.
Gov. Bobby Jindal confirmed to the Huffington Post on Tuesday that Louisiana would not be implementing its own exchange and a rejection letter will be sent to the federal government on Friday.
David Hood is an adviser for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana on healthcare issues. He thinks the insurance exchanges will ultimately save the state and taxpayers money.
WRKF's Ashley Westerman asked him how that's possible when they are expected to cost millions of dollars annually to run.