Today is the first day of the implementation of Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards pledged to implement Obamacare when he was elected on day 1. Unlike his pledge not to raise taxes, JBE actually kept this promise.
Here’s what Louisiana can expect now that Medicaid expansion is the law.
Louisiana’s long-term budget shortfall will only get worse
- New Mexico decided to expand Medicaid in 2013. For this year, they’re facing a Medicaid budget shortfall of $417 million.
- Vermont expanded Medicaid and is this year faced a $68 million budget deficit, mostly caused by Medicaid expansion.
- In 2015, more than a dozen states experienced budget problems due to Medicaid expansion.
The quality of care for those on Medicaid will decline
- To deal with rising Medicaid costs after expanding it, Alaska cut funding for developmentally disabled adults.
- All across the country Medicaid expansion is robbing the disabled in order to give to able-bodied adults.
- With costs rising, states are looking to cut reimbursement rates for providers. This will cause doctors to stop accepting Medicaid patients.
Louisianians will lose private health insurance
- Private insurance rates are expected to increase by a lot next year in Louisiana. It will likely force many Louisianians to either drop their policies or be dropped from their employers’ policies. They will most likely wind up on Medicaid.
- Medicaid is a poverty trap that encourages its recipients to stay poor.
So instead of celebrating today, we should be preparing for what will be the real costs of today. It will lead to higher taxes and more budget cuts down the road. It will lead to lower quality healthcare in the long-run.
One day, JBE and the Louisiana Legislature will learn that there is no such thing as free money. Let’s hope too may Louisianians won’t have to pay the price.