Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana

The four major candidates for governor participated in a forum Thursday, put on by the Public Affairs Research Council in Baton Rouge. Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne and John Bel Edwards each appeared in person, while David Vitter participated via pre-recorded video.

Predictably, they sniped at Governor Bobby Jindal.


“You have to remember what you may be losing in the higher education system as you go into deeper cuts,” warns Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott.

Scott addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, focusing on PAR’s new report, “Innovation in Louisiana”, which analyzes state support for university research programs. Those programs bring in grant money up front, and licensing revenue from patents for years afterwards. Scott notes that continued state budget cuts to higher education are impacting the amounts and numbers of research grants Louisiana’s universities are able to access.

Jim discusses state politics with Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

And Jim talks with Leigh Fondakowski, who's new play Spill, revisits the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


WRKF

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.


WRKF

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.