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Apr 09, 2013
TOP REASONS NOT TO EXPAND OBAMACARE IN LOUISIANA

  1. The expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare could cost Louisiana taxpayers $1.7 billion over the first ten years, and the cost will keep rising in the long-term. Obamacare was passed under the promise it would cost less than $1 trillion. However, the Congressional Budget Office now says that Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion.  
  2. The expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare will move up to 171,000 Louisianians who would otherwise be on private insurance and prevent another 77,000 people from going into private insurance. That means about 248,000 people are being forced out of private coverage and into the Medicaid program. The Congressional Budget Office said that as many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer provided health plans. 
  3. If Obamacare is expanded, it means that 41 percent of Louisiana’s population would be put on a Medicaid program that is antiquated, poorly run, and delivers inferior health care.
  4. There’s too much uncertainty in Obamacare. 
  • Premiums were supposed to go down, but they are now going up:
    • The law was passed on a promise to lower health insurance premiums.  But recent reports show that most people are seeing health care premium increases. A study by the well-respected Society of Actuaries suggests that premiums for health insurance are likely to increase by 32 percent for individual and small group policies as a result of this law. 
    • A study recently released by America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Louisiana Association of Health Plans estimates that the Obamacare premium tax will force policyholders in Louisiana to pay over $2,000 more for single coverage and over $4,500 more for family coverage for individuals over the next ten years.  Similar increases are noted for small and large group employers. 
  • States have a great deal of uncertainty because Obamacare leaves decisions up to political appointees:
    • The original law itself included nearly 1,000 different instances of the phrase “The Secretary Shall”, granting enormous power and discretion to a political appointee, and leaving states with a great deal of uncertainty with regard to how the law will be interpreted and implemented.
    • Obamacare is being rushed for implementation with insufficient guidance and inadequate timelines. For instance, with the Obamacare Exchanges, major problems have unfolded. There is now less than six months remaining until October 1, when open enrollment begins. Both states and insurers have expressed major reservations about meeting these deadlines without serious market disruption. Only since November have states received thousands of pages in regulations that should have been released months before. There are still many outstanding questions and uncertainties. 
5. Obamacare is being rushed for implementation with insufficient guidance and inadequate timelines. For instance, with the Obamacare Exchanges, major problems have unfolded. There is now less than six months remaining until October 1, when open enrollment begins. Both states and insurers have expressed major reservations about meeting these deadlines without serious market disruption. Only since November have states received thousands of pages in regulations that should have been released months before. There are still many outstanding questions and uncertainties. 
6. The actual uninsured population that should be focused on is about 214,000, but Obamacare would actually add triple that number of folks to the Medicaid rolls.
 
7. Funding for Obamacare is unstable. The payment for Obamacare continues to unravel which will encourage cost-shifting to states putting Louisiana on the hook for additional spending. The instability could threaten the state’s ability to fund education and transportation, and could force future tax increases on Louisianians. 
  • For instance, a few weeks ago, the U.S, Senate voted on a budget amendment to scrap a controversial 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, which is expected to generate $30 billion to help pay for Obamacare. 
  • In the past, President Obama has proposed a blended Medicaid rate, which would generate federal savings at the expense of states. Even the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said a blended rate could “shift significant costs to the states.”
  • With a $16 trillion debt, promises of more federal money are a risky bet. Louisianians know from experience that federal funding can’t be counted on. For example, Congress recently cut $1.8 billion in Medicaid funding for FY 2014. 

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