Gains from Louisiana’s Medicaid Expansion Could Be Reversed Under ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bills

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<p>Louisiana is the only state in the Deep South to have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act—and, as one of the nation’s poorest states, it had more to gain than most. In 2013, 42 percent of Louisiana residents were uninsured; by June 2016, just six months after expansion, the uninsured rate had fallen to 15 percent. </p><p>In a new post on <em>To the Point</em>, Harvard’s Benjamin Sommers, M.D., and Carrie E. Fry share survey results demonstrating how expanded coverage improved access to care in the state. More low-income Louisianans reported they had a personal doctor and visited a doctor in the past year than their counterparts in neighboring Texas, which did not expand Medicaid.</p>
<p>The authors say proposed cuts to state Medicaid funding in both the House and Senate health care bills would undermine the benefits of expansion in Louisiana and elsewhere. </p>
<p>“Policymakers in Medicaid expansion states play a critical role in the current debate and may ultimately cast the decisive votes for or against the proposed legislation,” they note. “Our findings illustrate what is at risk if either repeal-and-replace bill becomes law.”</p> Read the post