Medicaid

Is Republican House Speaker Chuck Kleckley calling for Medicaid expansion? No, that can’t be right. 

In the 2010 legislative session, Gov. Jindal signed into law a largely symbolic bill declaring all Louisianians free from quote “governmental intrusion in choosing or declining to choose any mode of securing health insurance coverage.” That was shortly after the federal Affordable Care Act passed, and 31 Republican lawmakers, including Kleckley, co-authored the measure.

Fast forward to today. Kleckey pushed the resolution allowing Louisiana’s next governor to pay for Medicaid expansion. Both houses approved, and the governor has no say.

The House Ways and Means Committee started working through several revenue-raising bills Monday, including one that would increase the cigarette tax.

There was the expected health related testimony.

“In Louisiana, more than 22 percent of adults and 12 percent of youth smoke cigarettes — the only product that, when used as directed, will kill half of all its users,” said Dr. Michael Johnson, director of Louisiana Tobacco-Free Living.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

Should Louisiana hospitals be guaranteed a set amount of state health care funding—if they put up part of the money themselves? That’s what Constitutional Amendment 2 on Tuesday’s ballot is asking voters to decide.

Jim returns from his break tomorrow but while he's away Robert Travis Scott, the President of the Public Affairs Research Council, fills in as guest host for today's show. Joe Donchess, Executive Director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association and Paul Salles, President and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association join Robert in studio for the first two segments this morning to discuss Amendments I & II on the upcoming ballot November 4th. What are they? Who will they affect? They answer these questions and more, as well as discuss the issues surrounding the amendments.

  • Amendment I: Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to create the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund, for the payment of Medicaid reimbursement to the health care provider groups paying fees into the fund?
  • Amendment II: Do you support an amendment to create the Hospital Stabilization Fund to stabilize and protect Medicaid reimbursements for health care services by depositing assessments paid by hospitals, as authorized by the legislature, into a fund to support Louisiana hospital reimbursement?

Also, Sports Columnist for The Advocate Scott Rabalais joins Robert for the last segment today to close out the show. He discusses with Robert what its like covering sporting events, facing deadlines, and what it feels like to teach a graduate level sports writing class at LSU. Scott also helps us learn "The Language of Les Miles," by telling us exactly what LSU Football coach Les Miles means when he says things like, "Look for more spread in the future." 


Carmen Smith remembers the day about a year ago when she gained Medicaid coverage.

"It was like Christmas Day, it was like getting a gift from Santa Claus!" she says. "People don't realize how important and how special it is to have insurance to be able to go see a doctor on a regular basis when you have an illness like mine."

Smith, 44, has Type 2 diabetes. Before qualifying for Medicaid coverage, she was what policy experts call a "frequent flier." She had used the emergency room at MetroHealth, the public hospital in Cleveland, five times in one year.

Long time political reporter for the Picayune, Tyler Bridges, talks with Jim about covering the state capitol and the 2014 Legislative Session as a reporter now for The Lens.

Also, State Senator Ben Nevers talks with Jim about the Legislative Session as well as his Medicaid Bill which he has decided to revise.


Journalist, political commentator and contributor to The Advocate Quinn Hillyer joins Jim for the first half of today's show. Quinn talks about running for political office in the past, President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and what it's like to be now writing for The Advocate. 

Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, and recent author of the critically acclaimed book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, Adam Braun talks with Jim about his book and the work his non-profit organization is doing to make sure every child has access to quality education. To learn more about Adam's organization, visit www.pencilsofpromise.org.


Sue Lincoln

Louisiana got some bad news from the federal Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) late last Friday. CMS says “no deal” on six of the LSU hospital public-private partnerships.

“I don’t know what their issue is, but it appears that the basis for the denial is related to the means of financing—specifically as it relates to the advance lease payments,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the House Appropriations committee Monday.

Louisiana Budget Project Director , Jan Moller, speaks on Louisiana Politics. Moller touches on Governor Bobby Jindal's decline for 16 Billion Dollars from  the federal government for Medicaid funding and Jindal's candidacy for president in 2016.  Also composer Gwyneth Walker talks about her time in Louisiana. She will be hosting a concert on March 22 at the University Methodist Church at 6:30 PM. 


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