05/13 - Medicaid Expansion: Take it or Leave it? | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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05/13 - Medicaid Expansion: Take it or Leave it?

Should Louisiana expand Medicaid benefits to subsidize national healthcare coverage or not?

The Supreme Court decision that ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional allows for states to choose whether or not to participate in expanding Medicaid benefits to subsidize healthcare coverage for lower-income residents.

Governor Bobby Jindal has chosen to opt Louisiana out of the Medicaid expansion, saying the process would cost the state up to $1.7 billion over the next ten years and move over 100,000 people from private insurance into a government-run health care system. He says that the Obama administration should allow more flexibility for states to design their own programs.

Supporters of the Medicaid expansion say the expansion offers a path to health care access for up to 400,000 uninsured residents, improving people’s health while helping Louisiana’s health care delivery system. They also note that Louisiana taxpayers will pay for the federal Medicaid expansion whether the state participates or not.

Louisiana Public Square brings together both sides to debate the pro’s and con’s of the issue on “Medicaid Expansion: Take it or Leave it?” airing Wednesday, May 22nd at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.

Funding for this program was made possible in part by AARP, a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization leading social change and delivering value to people age 50 and over through advocacy, information and service.


Louisiana has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the nation, at about 20 percent. It also has some of the strictest income thresholds to qualify for Medicaid. In Louisiana, an individual making more than $1,200 a year or a family of three, making more than $5,000 annually, make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

While not a perfect model, Louisiana’s system of 10 charity-hospitals around the state has ensured that these nearly 650 thousand people are taken care of, David Hood, secretary of Health and Hospitals under former Gov. Mike Foster recently told Houma Today.

Since Jindal took office, Medicaid and Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) spending (funding for uninsured care) in the state’s public system has decreased by nearly $200 million on an annual basis. Congressional action in July reduced Louisiana’s Medicaid funding match rate to the lowest it has been in 25 years, dealing a nearly $900 million total reduction to the department’s SFY13 budget.

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Our Panelists:

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.

Please get the Jindal talking head off the issue. What does money to China have to do with supporting health care to the poor in Louisiana!

Posted by Lyles Budden  on  05/22  at  07:54 PM

I have children who use the Medicaid program and I am thankful everyday for this service. Sometimes it is hard to find a physician for them that accepts Medicaid, but it is almost impossible to find a physician who will accept an adult with Medicaid as a primary insurance. I used to work for a doctor that did accept and we received calls inquiring whether we did accept and they were so relieved to finally find a doctor that would accept Medicaid. I am a person who would benefit from this service, but we cannot just keep giving and giving, the money will run out. Why couldn’t certain people receive Medicaid and pay a small co-pay or percentage to help keep costs down?

Posted by N Lopez  on  05/23  at  08:54 AM

How are people suppose to get medical insurance when the Governor of the state of Louisiana has not increased wages for state workers in the last 5 fixing to be 6 years for at least me. It is a shame that I am not able to afford the state insurance available within my organization (State of Louisiana). Then by the time the hospital that is taking over the state hospital that I work at there will be several people without jobs because of lack of pay by the private hospital pay scale. We were told at the beginning of all this turnover that the private hospitals were going to keep as many state employees as possible and move them over to the private hospital. We cant afford the pay decrease and I only make 9.59 per hour. Again that has been for the last 5 almost 6 years. What happened to our cost of living increases???

Posted by sheryl  on  05/23  at  08:56 AM

One of the largest reasons the children of poor people in Louisiana You really want the answer… When you have x amount of money for food and you have y amount of money for foods…the parents make a smart choice and get filling foods for the children ex: rice potatoes, bread, beans. this is what I was brought up on. We were poor and had to sacrifice a lot of things. But my mom always make sure we had food on the table. So when you think the all the poor people are getting sweets and soft drinks with the food stamps or extra money they have you are sadly mistaken.

Posted by sheryl  on  05/23  at  08:58 AM

Is anyone on the panel aware that there is a Louisiana north of Baton Rouge? On 30 June, the Huey P Long Hospital in Pineville runs out of money with no private partnership on the horizon and a very highly unemployed population with no “service jobs” as are available in the southern cities. The situation is similar in Monroe and Shreveport. These cities all pay taxes too. What plans does Mr. Jindal have for us? The show tonight was excellent, with most participants favoring healthcare coverage for all. Dr. DiSalvo would make an excellent DHH secretary for the state, but she probably knows too much about the delivery of health care with value to do so.

Posted by Ulla Knoepp  on  05/23  at  08:59 AM
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09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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