Low- and moderate-income Acadiana households could be impacted u - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Low- and moderate-income Acadiana households could be impacted under Graham-Cassidy plan

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy of MGN Online Courtesy of MGN Online

The more than 433,000 Louisianans who received healthcare under the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act risk a loss of coverage should the proposed Graham-Cassidy legislation become law.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana, and South Carolina's Lindsay Graham, would eliminate ACA subsidies and the Medicaid expansion and lump those funds into block grants provided to the states, who would decide on their own how to spend the money. It would also allow states to waive Affordable Care Act rules that protect those with pre-existing conditions from higher rates, and it would also phase in Medicaid spending caps.

Both Gov. John Bel Edwards and Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee have said they oppose the bill, saying it will harm Louisiana, which has the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S, according to recent census data.

In a letter to Cassidy, Gee said the cuts would threaten Louisiana’s most vulnerable citizens, including the disabled, children and pregnant women.

Edwards has also said expansion is projected to help save the state $350 million through 2018, freeing up more money in the general fund.

Low- and moderate-income Acadiana families could be impacted

Medicaid expansion provides coverage for residents with incomes too high to receive traditional Medicaid but too low to afford private insurance. That's about $16,600 a year for an individual or right under $34,000 a year for a family of four.

KATC Investigates found about 45 percent of Acadiana's workforce falls into that income range, including those in the services industries, sales and administrative workers and healthcare aides, making them potentially eligible for benefits under Medicaid expansion.

For example, a single parent of two who works as a home-health aid — with an average annual income of $19,000 — can receive health benefits under the expansion. Such families could be impacted by a cap on healthcare funds in each state, which limits the amount of money each state can spend on healthcare, potentially forcing the states to limit health coverage for its citizens, one analysis found.

Industry Number employed Average annual income
Healthcare support occupations 7,750 $22,772
Food preparation and service 23,140 $19,782
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance operations 7,240 $22,350
Personal care and service 10,980 $20,783
Sales and related occupations 31,150 $32,039
Office and administrative support 38,310 $31,451

Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission Occupational Wage Data (2016), Lafayette Region (RLMA 4)

    An estimate from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates Louisiana would lose nearly $2.4 billion in 2026, when the block grants expire.

    The Congressional Budget Office has said it may not have an analysis ready in time for the Sept. 30 vote Republicans must take to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

    Medicaid expansion by the numbers

    In its 2017 Medicaid expansion annual report, the Edwards administration touted figures showing the expansion's benefits through June:

    • 100,703 adults received preventative healthcare or began seeing a doctor
    • 15,193 women received breast cancer screening, 154 of whom are now receiving cancer treatment
    • 10,538 adults were screened for colon cancer, 157 who are now receiving cancer treatment and 3,169 of whom averted cancer through colon polyp removal
    • 2,662 adults diagnosed with diabetes and who began treatment
    • 6,804 adults diagnosed and now treated for hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • 29,445 adults receiving mental health services
    • 8,296 adults receiving substance abuse treatment services
    Power Doppler HD
    Powered by Frankly

    © KATC.com 2018, KATC.com
    Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

    Can't find something?