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.
JUL 24 This post on the Red Stick Blog reveals nine facts about Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot who turns nine this week. That's interesting and all, but the best part of the post is the video of Mike playing around with a visitor, just like any other kitty. A massive, deadly, 400-pound, roaring kitty.
JUL 24 DIG Baton Rouge tells us about a local chef who makes an appearance on one of the Food Network's inexplicably stupid competition shows, Cutthroat Kitchen. The chef, who also appeared on Master Chef, talks here about Cajun and Creole cuisine and its place in American food.
JUL 24 Political consultants who switched candidates in midstream to work with Jindal buddy Garret Graves on his Congressional campaign are being sued by their former employer, the Picayune tells us in this post. Among the allegations? The firm started working for Graves before they left his opponent's campaign.
JUL 24 The recent articles about a study that found America's happiest cities are here in Louisiana have produced some raised eyebrows among those who have actually been to Shreveport and Baton Rouge. But the Today show did some research, and produced this article which talks about stuff that doesn't really represent those two cities. Are we still going with the drunk, fat and stupid brand?
JUL 24 Here's a story on Huffington Post that explores the connection between Gov. Bobby Jindal and the charter school business that sued him Tuesday over Common Core. The head of that business is recalling all the good stuff Bobby had to say about the curriculum - you know, back when it was cool to like it.
JUL 24 Blogger CB Forgotston has found another problem with the 11th hour bill that tacked $30K onto State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement check. The move was missing a financial assessment that's required by statute. This is a red flag that was missed, CB says. You think?
JUL 24 Blogger Mike Deshotels prints a statement from three BESE members who are supporting the legislators who are suing the governor over the Common Core mess. He adds his own personal comment, as well.
JUL 24 The Lens is hosting a panel discussion on the cost of coastal restoration, and who should pay for it, next month in NOLA. It is planned to be a discussion of the realities of the coastal restoration master plan and its current funding, as well as what the future holds.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly