The Supreme Court decision that ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional allows for states to choose whether or not to participate in expanding Medicaid benefits to subsidize healthcare coverage for lower-income residents.
Governor Bobby Jindal has chosen to opt Louisiana out of the Medicaid expansion, saying the process would cost the state up to $1.7 billion over the next ten years and move over 100,000 people from private insurance into a government-run health care system. He says that the Obama administration should allow more flexibility for states to design their own programs.
Supporters of the Medicaid expansion say the expansion offers a path to health care access for up to 400,000 uninsured residents, improving people’s health while helping Louisiana’s health care delivery system. They also note that Louisiana taxpayers will pay for the federal Medicaid expansion whether the state participates or not.