So we read this morning that an additional 17,000 Medicaid recipients have been sent a letter from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), warning that they must prove that they qualify for Medicaid or be removed from the program’s rolls. This is, of course, in addition to the 40,000 that were sent warning letters in February, of whom 30,000 have since been removed from the rolls for failing to respond to LDH’s letter or just outright failing to qualify.
We are told that the letters were part of a new, upgraded eligibility system instituted by LDH to detect those who weren’t eligible for Medicaid. Truth be told, the letters were belatedly sent out by a terrified and embarrassed LDH after the Legislative Auditor and numerous Republican legislators began sounding the alarms as the Governor’s Medicaid expansion numbers zoomed past the expected 300,000 new recipients to over 500,000.
This was an entirely predictable result given the astonishing fact that John Bel Edwards had expanded Medicaid entirely on his own, on the very first day of his administration in January of 2016, without any legislative input whatsoever. This was the trap set by the Obama administration as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” The Affordable Care Act had quickly proved not to be so affordable, and people in Louisiana left it in droves by opting to take advantage of John Bel Edwards’ Medicaid expansion.
Common sense would have caused any reasonable person to include in the Medicaid expansion rollout a robust mechanism for weeding out those not eligible for the program. This should have routinely been done during or shortly after the application process, but the Governor would have none of that.
Now we have accused John Bel Edwards of lacking vision, leadership ability, and tact, but we have never said he was stupid. We must therefore assume that he knew perfectly well what he was doing when he signed off on Medicaid expansion without any provision to determine who was actually eligible to receive Medicaid in the first place. And the proof is in the pudding, as the Governor has fought every eligibility verification attempt by the legislature since he expanded Medicaid.
And the reason is clear: John Bel Edwards and his Democrat minions in the legislature are committed to Medicare for All, which if enacted will destroy the medical system in Louisiana at one stroke and saddle our residents with an unsustainable financial burden which would double our tax burden or send the state off a real fiscal cliff within a year.
If you like your current insurance arrangement and the doctors who provide your medical care, then perhaps you should consider changing your Governor!