Medicaid expansion

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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