Tuesday, 11 September 2012 13:21
by Heather Miller
LBP: Medicaid expansion would help working uninsured
Hundreds of thousands of cooks, waitresses, construction workers and nursing home attendants could finally qualify for health care coverage if the state would expand its Medicaid coverage as part of the new federal health care law.
According to a new report from the left-leaning Louisiana Budget Project, more than 240,000 workers in the state would be added to the state’s Medicaid rolls, a list that currently excludes all adults without children and any adult who makes more than $2,860 annually for a family of three.
Under provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, states have the option of expanding their Medicaid eligibility to include people who make less than $14,850 per year, with 93 percent of the expansion costs covered by the federal government for the first 10 years of the program.
The new report from LBP, “Medicaid Expansion: An Opportunity to Invest in Louisiana’s Workforce,” identifies the four key employment sectors in Louisiana that would benefit from the state opting in to the federal program, mainly workers in tourism and hospitality:
Working men and women in dozens of industries and occupations crucial to Louisiana’s economy stand to benefit from the Medicaid expansion, especially in key sectors such as construction, retail and tourism. Cooks, waitresses and busboys; nursing home attendants and day-care workers; day laborers and landscapers; hotel clerks and hospital aides–they would have the same access to medical care that more highly paid workers have long enjoyed. The expansion will also be a boon for small businesses, which will have healthier and more productive employees.
And this benefit would come at almost no cost to the state treasury. The vast majority of the cost of the Medicaid expansion will be financed by the federal government, bringing dollars into the state that will not only help people to be healthier, but also boost Louisiana’s economy.
Despite common misconceptions, most working-age people who lack insurance have jobs.3 But they often can’t afford the health insurance offered by employers—and many aren’t offered insurance at work at all. The result is that people put off needed care and risk financial ruin if they get sick.
Medicaid expansion would bring health insurance coverage to people who today have no other good options. Restrictive eligibility and the lack of employer-based coverage already leave them on the fringes of the health care system. If they get care at all, often it is in hospital emergency rooms, a form of treatment that is episodic, costly and not conducive to long-term good health. Plus, for uninsured patients who can’t pay, the cost of care is often picked up by medical providers and passed on to insured patients through higher premiums.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and his Health Secretary Bruce Greenstein are adamantly opposed to Louisiana joining in the Medicaid expansion.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly