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.
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OCT 24 You gotta love it when they start eating their young, right? In this post in Politico, BP mouthpiece Geoff Morrell denies that his company's oil spill "ruined the Gulf." Instead, he says, it was Bobby Jindal's decision to divert fresh water into the salt water environment that caused massive losses to shrimp and oyster industries. The evidence doesn't back up any claims that the spill caused that harm, he says. Nothing to see here, move along.
OCT 24 The former mayor of Sorrento was arrested on dozens of child pornography charges, a post on The Creole reports here. Wilson Longanecker Jr. was arrested in his Ascension Parish mansion, the blog reports.
OCT 24 As Bobby Jindal's tenure as governor winds down, blogger Tom Aswell tells us to expect to see more and more of his appointees jumping ship. Some might get shown the door (or the federal indictment, as the case may be) and others are just going to want to avoid standing in "the inevitable unemployment line," he says.
OCT 24 Jim Brown is blogging about elections in this post. There's no one more recognizable when it comes to elections than he is, and yet he still had to show his ID, you know. He gives some easy-to-remember advice on the Amendments: vote against them all. This stuff needs to be handled by legislators, not added to the Constitution, he says.
OCT 24 Bobby Jindal's recent "magical" budget touch - you know, the one that turned a $140 million deficit into a $170 million surplus - is just imaginary, columnist James Gill tells us in this post. It's about as real as that story he tells about the "gold standard" of ethics, Gill says.
OCT 24 George Carter III, a teenage member of the group Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, died this week, the Picayune reports here. Educators who knew him called him a "visionary." He certainly had some highly-developed ideas for his age, but despite his ability to provide positive ideas for helping kids in the city, in the end he wasn't able to escape NOLA's problems, either.
OCT 24 John Dickerson posts this slice-of-campaign-life look at Mary Landrieu on the trail in Louisiana. Republicans are playing to a runoff, he opines, meaning our state will become "a zoo" if it turns out this race will decide control of the Senate.
OCT 24 Bike lanes have been quite the topic of convo over in NOLA recently, what with streetspace, already at a premium downtown, being sacrified for them. In this post on the Uptown Messenger blog, Owen Courreges opines that the lanes are not really being constructed for people who ride bikes, but instead because developers seeking to make money downtown feel they are needed. He's also predicting that they will increase already nightmarish levels of traffic to new heights. Nah -- that couldn't happen!
OCT 23 Blogger Tom Aswell posts the photo that started making the rounds of the Facebook this week; it shows our governor and his lovely bride, all bright and smiley and holding big guns. The Jindals look a little posed, down to their carefully and properly placed index fingers. They're both grinning wide, displaying how comfortable they are with weaponry. Whee!
OCT 23 This fascinating post on The Lens opens the discussion of New Orleans as subject. C. W. Cannon talks about the concept of dual consciousness and how New Orleanians, especially, have experienced this condition post-Katrina. Cannon attended a recent conference about the issue at Tulane, where the discussion focused on how the romanticization of the city by outsiders masks real social problems.
OCT 23 Bayou Buzz is taking Gov. Bobby Jindal and the GOP to task here for the Ebola shrieking. The so-called "travel ban" makes no sense, and these politicians should have done their homework before coming up with this stunt, Stephen Sabludowsky writes.
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