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Louisiana Budget Project Outlines Potential Impact of Health Care Law

Wallis Watkins

The Louisiana Budget Project, a indepedent nonprofit that studies budget policy in the state, released a report Tuesday detailing how the American Health Care Act could impact Louisiana. 

Although the bill is currently being worked on in the U.S. Senate, Louisiana Budget Project Director, Jan Moller, says the report is based on the bill as it was passed out of the U.S. House in May.

“Senators have told us publicly that it will look 80% like the House bill," explains Moller.

Members of the U.S. Senate have yet to release the details of their version or hold any public hearings to discuss it. But according to Senior Analyst and report author Jeanie Donovan, it could "effectively end medicaid expansion by eliminating the favorable federal matching rate and shifting an additional $816 million in annual costs to the state by 2023.” 

Governor John Bel Edwards expanded Medicaid in Louisiana on his second day in office. So far, over 425,000 people have signed up.

Donovan says hundreds of thousands of the working poor who benefitted from expansion could be left uninsured.  According to the report, more than half of all those enrolled in Medicaid in Louisiana are children.

Denise Bottcher is the state director of AARP Louisiana. She says older populations could see their insurance costs increase under this bill.

“Currently right now older adults do pay more, they pay more in insurance by 3 to 1 of an average younger person. This bill would allow insurance companies to increase it 5 to 1.”

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the bill before they recess for July 4th.