Medicaid reform missed in chaos of special session

So much for Medicaid reform in Louisiana, at least insofar as the Louisiana Legislature’s special session went.

With the state spending nearly half its budget on the program, and rivaling elementary and secondary education for the largest single category of expenditures in the $3.7 billion range, such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars leaves a lot of latitude for efficiency. In particular, House of Representatives Republicans promoted these measures as counterweights to several hundred million bucks worth of permanent tax increases advocated by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

GOP legislators settled on three initiatives. They wanted to cut down on fraudulent eligibility, which makes up an unknown proportion of the Medicaid population. Numbers from other states paint a scary picture: in Oregon, as many as 45 percent of recent Medicaid enrollees actually don’t qualify. And because Louisiana based much of Medicaid expansion population enrollment on participation in other welfare programs that also have a nontrivial proportion of improper enrollments, that potentially magnifies the problem…


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