Day 40 – Medicaid at 50: State Highlight: Louisiana

Over the coming weeks this blog will highlight a key feature of Medicaid and the individual states that administer Medicaid and CHIP leading up to the program’s 50th anniversary (July 30th). Hopefully, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Medicaid and each of the 51 state programs.

Next on our state list is Louisiana, a striking contrast with Kentucky on Medicaid expansion since the Pelican State has gone quite the other way. Governor Bobby Jindal studied health policy during his time as a Rhodes scholar, and became the Louisiana Secretary of Health and Hospitals at the age of 24, however, he is not an ACA enthusiast. The Louisiana Hospital Association offered to cover the state’s cost of Medicaid expansion through a special tax on hospitals for if the state would…just…take…the…federal….money. If anything can persuade me of the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion, this is it. It’s not every day you see hospitals trying to tax themselves with the support of Republican legislatures. Sadly, Governor Jindal has been unmoved by the offer of cash from TWO sources to foot the tab on Medicaid expansion. The legislature has now moved to pass a resolution outlining this plan, that could potentially be a blueprint for Jindal’s successor (there’s an election this fall and the governor is term-limited). All four gubernatorial candidates have said they’d consider a Medicaid expansion, so stay tuned…Unknown-1

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