Medicaid expansion

United States House of Representatives

Four Republicans and one Democrat have announced their candidacy for the United States Senate seat currently held by David Vitter. One of those Republicans is Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana’s Third Congressional district. 


S. Lincoln

(This is an encore episode.)

As Louisiana deals with chronic shortages in the state healthcare budget and works through accepting the federal Medicaid expansion, a whole lot of acronyms are being tossed around, like ACA, IGTs, CMS, IAT, DSH payments, FMAP rates.

What the heck is all this alphabet soup, you ask? Here’s a quick class on Medicaid terminology.


First Order of Business

Jan 13, 2016
Sue Lincoln

As promised, Governor John Bel Edwards wasted no time, taking care of business the first day after his inauguration.

“Today I’m here to sign an executive order -- and as you might have imagined, it’s my first -- to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of Louisiana working families,” Edwards announced in his first official gubernatorial press conference Tuesday.

“What this means is that adults who make up to $16,242 a year as an individual, or up to $33,465 for a family of four, would be eligible for Medicaid coverage.”

Sue Lincoln

Governor-elect John Bel Edwards named more cabinet-level officials Tuesday, including Dr. Rebekah Gee to head the Department of Health and Hospitals. A physician and the current Medicaid Medical Director for the state, Gee says she’s aware of the challenges ahead.

“We have just fallen to 50th in the ranking of United Health rankings, the worst state in the nation,” she noted, adding, “We believe we can do better.”

She points to Medicaid expansion as the first step in a better direction.

creativecommons.org

As Louisiana deals with chronic shortages in the state healthcare budget and works through accepting the federal Medicaid expansion, a whole lot of acronyms are being tossed around, like ACA, IGTs, CMS, IAT, DSH payments, FMAP rates.

What the heck is all this alphabet soup, you ask? Here’s a quick class on Medicaid terminology.

First is “ACA”, which stands for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Then there’s “CMS”, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services. That’s the federal administrative and rule-making authority for Medicaid.

healthcare.gov

“How many people would be eligible in Louisiana?” Senate Finance Committee chairman Jack Donahue asked state health officials Monday.

More than half a million was the response.

“We would say that’s probably worst-case scenario,” DHH Undersecretary Jeff Reynolds added.

But there was more, as the committee was reminded the federal government is reducing Louisiana’s total funding for indigent care, beginning in January 2018.

Governor-Elect John ‘Bel’ Edwards has tapped Democratic State Senator Ben Nevers to coordinate his transition team and be the administration Chief of Staff. 


Sue Lincoln

Just because the election is over doesn’t mean all campaigning is at an end.

“It is not a time for us to become complacent, to let up, to get comfortable,” said Rev. Lee T. Wesley of Together Louisiana at a press conference Monday.

The statewide coalition of churches and community groups said they are pleased with the election of John Bel Edwards as governor, and they’re going do everything possible to help make the first of his campaign promises come true.

Health care funding bleeds the most when Louisiana’s budget is in the red. Since it appears the scalpel will be wielded for some time yet to come, how do gubernatorial candidates plan to stitch Louisiana’s health care together?

”I would accept the Medicaid expansion, and I would do it very early in my administration,” John Bel Edwards says, adding that it makes fiscal sense. “They’re our tax dollars that are going to other states.”

David Vitter is more reserved about accepting the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

“I have not taken off the table — I’ve been very clear about this — expanding coverage under the Medicaid program.” But, Vitter says he would set conditions for doing so.

Don't Call It Medicaid Expansion

Jun 16, 2015

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.

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