The state’s leading pediatric organization says raising cigarette taxes to the national average could potentially save health care services that are on the chopping block to cope with a $1.6 billion state budget shortfall.
The Advocate’s Marsha Shuler reported that Stewart Gordon and John Vanchiere, members of the Louisiana Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday that a $1 per pack tax hike on tobacco would raise $350 million and bring the state closer in line with the national average for cigarette taxes — $1.45. Louisiana taxes cigarettes at 36 cents, according to Vanchiere and Gordon.
The doctors also pointed to an “under-funded” health care system for children in the state, which they say will only worsen if Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed health care reform passes:
Vanchiere said in recent years the per child Medicaid spending has gone from 32 percent above the national average to 28 percent below the national average.
Now the administration wants to privatize Medicaid — the government’s health insurance program for the poor — and let insurance companies manage patient care, Vanchiere said.
That plan diverts 15 percent of available health-care dollars for administrative overhead and profits, he said.
Read more on the cigarette tax proposal and children’s health care services here.
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.
APR 22 Louisiana politics is entertainment, nothing more than a comedy routine that writes itself, blogger Dayne Sherman says. But while we're chuckling at the wizard between the sheets and the kissing congressman, our higher ed system is collapsing, and nobody's doing anything about it, he says.
APR 23 WalletHub has done a study to determine each state's Return on Investment for its taxpayers. Guess who's bringing up the rear? That's right -- if it weren't for Mississippi and Arkansas we'd be dead last.
APR 23 Blogger Tom Aswell has good news for parents who don't want the private information of their offspring sold/provided to corporations: inBloom is shutting down. He's certainly right when he claims the lion's share of the credit for bloggers -- most of the mainstream media, certainly here in Louisiana, didn't do stories on our DOE's agreement with this corporation until months after the bloggers had started reporting on it.
APR 23 Look out! The Buzz Feed blog has busted Senate candidate Bill Cassidy in this post. Cassidy, a physician who is campaigning on how horrible it would be for people to have health insurance, once campaigned on a plan that sounds suspiciously like (you guessed it) Obamacare. Woops!
APR 23 Here's a post from Jeremy Alford on Gambit about the holes in Bobby Jindal's budget. (Hint: they're BIG.) The only puzzling thing in this post is Alford's (apparent) assumption that nobody in the Jindal administration knew they were there. Uh, really?
APR 23 Salon takes a look at the Republicans who take the Koch brothers seriously (including our own Gov. Jindal) and have so far refused federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Joan Walsh has pulled together a lot of analysis pieces, so it's a good read.
APR 23 Blogger Mike Deshotels has had a lot of negative things to say about some of the education-related bills under consideration in the current session, but here's a list of the ones he has something good to say about. He's got links to the actual bills, as well as contact info for committee members.
APR 23 Mark Moseley performs a post-mortem on the Audubon Nature Institute's millage, which failed by a 30 percent margin recently. It's more than just anti-tax sentiment, Mark opines: there's something else going on in NOLA.
APR 22 If you're a Walking Dead fan, you might want to check out this story on DIG Baton Rouge about the program's tour, headed for Baton Rouge and NOLA next month. You can be a spectator, a survivor or a walker -- and the walkers get professional make-up. The course is about a mile long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. And if you're wondering (or worrying or maybe hoping, ick) biting is not allowed.
APR 22 Republicans - and in particular Republicans who might be running for something in a couple years - are flocking to the Common Core issue, the New York Times reports here. But they're not supporting the federal educational curriculum; they're flocking because they feel it will be a good issue to run on, the story tells us. Don't worry, they mentioned Bobby.