05/13 - Medicaid Expansion: Take it or Leave it?

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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.
1. As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally (favorable) or generally (unfavorable) opinion of it?
2. Do you think you and your family are better off or worse off as result of: national health care reform, or hasn't it made much difference?
3. Which comes closer to your view about the 2010 health care law?
4. As you may know Medicaid is a government program that pays for health care for low-income people and others with certain disabilities. Do you think that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage in Louisiana is a good idea or a bad idea?
5. As you may know, the health care law expands Medicaid to provide health insurance to more low-income uninsured adults. The Supreme Court ruled that states may choose whether or not to participate in this expansion. What do you think Louisiana should do?
6. As far as you know, has the governor of Louisiana and the legislature decided that Louisiana WILL expand Medicaid, decided that Louisiana will NOT expand Medicaid, not made a final decision yet, or have you not heard enough about this to say?
7. Would you be more likely or less likely to say the state should expand Medicaid to cover uninsured adults if it meant the state might spend more money on Medicaid in the future?
8. Would you be more likely or less likely to say the state should expand Medicaid to cover uninsured adults if it meant the state might spend less on other healthcare services in the future?
9. Would you be more likely or less likely to say the state should expand Medicaid to cover uninsured adults if it meant that Louisianans would be forced out their private insurance plans?
10. Would you be more likely or less likely to say the state should expand Medicaid to cover uninsured adults if it meant the state might increase revenue as a result of increased jobs and economic activity in the future?
11. As you may know, a bill is being proposed in the Louisiana Senate that would require Louisiana to accept the federal expansion money for its current Medicaid program but to use that money to help lower-income residents purchase private insurance plans in a federally mandated health insurance marketplace. Do you support or oppose this bill?
12. Are you now covered by any form of health insurance or health plan? This would include health coverage through an employer, a private plan you bought yourself, and coverage through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid?
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