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The Future of Louisiana's Medicaid Expansion Program (Guest: Chris Jacobs)

September 18, 2019

Chris Jacobs, a senior fellow at Louisiana's free market think tank The Pelican Institute, on the massive corruption and uncertain future of the state's Medicaid expansion program.

When Louisiana decided, like many other states, to implement Medicaid expansion, it began to almost immediately experience a problem: many people who were otherwise able to pay for private insurance decided to drop their private plans and get on the taxpayer-funded Medicaid rolls.

At least once was even reported to have been earning almost $150K a year. But that's not where the problems with expansion in Louisiana ended - only where they begin. Since then, the democratic governor has made questionable statements about the benefits of Medicaid expansion, from the number of jobs it creates to whether or not it's actually saved the state money.

Jacobs and The Pelican Institute have documented how academics from Louisiana State University have parroted some of these possibly factually inaccurate statements and have refused to reveal how they come by the numbers they cite. Most recently, the governor's Republican challenger has alleged that the govorner has used Medicaid expansion as a political tool to punish contractors who have donated to Republican groups and remove them from Medicaid associated contracts, and used the supposed benefits of expansion to garner votes.

In short: where Medicaid expansion goes in Louisiana, corruption has followed. Jacobs explains and offers suggestions put out by The Pelican Institute about how Medicaid u=in Louisiana can be reformed. Listen below!

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.
slee@heartland.org