Medicaid expansion

Kelly Connelly / WRKF

With a one-vote margin, a bill that would force Louisiana to accept federal Medicaid Expansion advanced through the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday.

Governor Bobby Jindal has opposed the Expansion, claiming it would be too expensive and that the federal program doesn’t meet Louisiana’s needs.

Former LSU Hospitals head Dr. Fred Cerise discusses health care challenges facing the state and the LSU hospital system...and the disagreement over accepting the federal Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care act.

A visit with New Orleans composer and saxophonist Brad Walker.


Bogalusa Senator Ben Nevers (D) discusses the state's reluctance to accept the Medicaid expansion included in the federal Affordable Care Act, an his proposed legislation to accept the Medicaid money. 

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jeffrey Marks and his friend, Olympic track &  field Gold Medalist  Carl Lewis, talk about sports & achievement...and about their support for organ donation.

Kevin Kane, President of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, talks about Governor's Jindal's position on Medicaid expansion.

Spencer Watts, the new head of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System.


 

The state may need to accept the federal Medicaid Expansion to fund LSU hospitals under the new public/private partnerships.

 

That’s according to Steve Spires, with the Louisiana Budget Project, an advocacy group that focuses on the effects of policy changes to low- and middle-income households.

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.

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.

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates Louisiana could save up to $554.9 million over five years and between $185.2 million to almost $511 million over 10 years by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The legislature is already taking up Governor Bobby Jindal’s charge to move a bill to phase out the income tax, just a day after the governor ditched his own plan for repeal.

In his speech to lawmakers Monday, Jindal didn't mention maintaining his requirement that any new tax changes be revenue neutral.

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