"So what" is all that Republican can say now that ACA has hit its original targets
Too bad for the hundreds of thousands of poor people in Louisiana that their governor would prefer they suffer and die (and I'm sure Jindal pretends to be a Pro-Life Christian too) just so he can score ideological points with the right wing in his party
Looks like Alan Grayson was correct that the Republican health care plan is ....1. Don't get Sick and 2. and if you get sick then Die Quickly
Medicaid expansion kicks off, but Louisiana residents being left out: Editorial
By The Editorial Board, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on January 01, 2014 at 6:58 AM, updated January 01, 2014 at 11:19 AM
As of Jan. 1, hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans who lacked health insurance are newly eligible for Medicaid. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia agreed to take part in the expansion of the federal health care program for the poor under the Affordable Care Act. Not Louisiana.
So the more than 242,000 uninsured Louisiana residents who likely could benefit from the new coverage aren't getting a chance to do so. That is a shame.
Those families won't get the relief that having health coverage could bring. They will still have to worry about whether they can afford to see a doctor - and may delay getting care until they have to go to an emergency room. That is a difficult way to live and is not a route to good health.
It is not smart for the state, either. The federal government is paying 100 percent of the cost of the expansion for the first three years. A new study by WalletHub found that Louisiana will lose out on $2.58 in funding for each $1 in federal taxes that state residents will pay for the expansion in other states. The study also ranked Louisiana third -- with $2,091.14 -- in savings residents would get from reduced out-of-pocket expenses if Gov. Jindal approved the Medicaid expansion.
A previous study by the Commonwealth Fund showed that Louisiana will lose out on $1.65 billion in federal dollars in 2022 alone. The federal government will be paying 90 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion that year. If the state agreed to the expansion, its share of the cost for that year would be $280 million.
Gov. Jindal has said that Louisiana can't afford even that amount of matching money. But the Commonwealth Fund study pointed out that the state's share for Medicaid would be a small fraction of the $2.2 billion Louisiana is projected to spend on incentives to attract private business in 2022.
"No state that declines to expand the program is going to be fiscally better off" because of that decision, said Sherry Glied, one of the authors of the report.
The sting for Louisianians is that their federal taxes will help pay for uninsured residents in other states to take advantage of the health coverage. Not only that, but the state will lose out on new jobs.
An estimated 15,600 new jobs in health care and other fields are predicted for Louisiana if the state accepts the money, according to a study by Families USA and the Louisiana Consumer Healthcare Coalition. That would have a major impact on our economy.
Overall, Louisiana would get almost $16 billion in new health care dollars under the expansion.
Expanding Medicaid is most important, of course, because it is the best way to provide health care coverage to tens of thousands of poor Louisianians who lack insurance. These are people who earn too much money for Medicaid under the old formula but can't afford to buy a policy and aren't covered at their jobs. Many of them also don't qualify for other provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Kaiser Family Foundation says there are 242,150 Louisiana residents in those circumstances.
Gov. Jindal has remained stubbornly opposed to the Medicaid expansion, despite the benefits to Louisiana residents and to the state's economy.
Other conservative governors realized the expansion would good for their states, even though they opposed President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett -- all Republicans - are taking the Medicaid money.
At least 1.5 million Americans in those and other states have enrolled in Medicaid or the federal Children's Health Insurance Program since Oct. 1, according to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Even though the expansion goes into effect today, Louisiana can still opt in. At this point, the state would have to wait several months to get the new benefits, but it would be the smart thing to do.
It also would be the humane thing to do. Leaving thousands of uninsured Louisianians in the lurch when it would be so easy to help them is unconscionable.http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2014/01/medicaid_expansion_kicks_off_b.html