As the implementation of Obamacare unfortunately nears, every governor must decide whether to expand Medicaid. This is not a simple question. Expanding Medicaid will significantly burden state budgets across the country.
Our state’s analyses, and reports by organizations that have supported Obamacare, such as the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, estimate that such an expansion would cost Louisiana more than a billion dollars over the first 10 years.
The Obama administration heralds this as a tremendous bargain for states. That’s simply not the case. The administration overlooks that Medicaid is largely failing current enrollees with its outdated model that costs billions of taxpayer dollars and produces poor outcomes.
Medicaid operates under a 1960s model of medicine, with inflexible, one-size-fits-all benefits and little consumer engagement and responsibility. Expanding the entitlement program as it stands would further cement a separate and unequal tier of health coverage. Without fundamental reform, Medicaid will continue to deliver what it has for decades: limited access, poor quality and budget deficits.