The report only got mentioned as an aside this week in the New Orleans Times-Picayune – which until then never even acknowledged the existence of the law or the bill that became it despite its potential far-reaching impact because editorially the newspaper supports the alternative of Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) – in an article that in part continues that outlet’s campaign to expand Medicaid. The law required the Department of Health and Hospitals to issue a report about what policies had to be enacted at all levels of government in order to expand insurance to all citizens using market-based rather than government- and politically-based principles.
DHH already has issued two reports explicating why Medicaid expansion is inferior and undesirable policy. Rigorous methodology showed that, under four different scenarios with differing assumptions, within a decade the state would be paying hundreds of millions of dollars more annually for care under expansion than under the current uncompensated care system. In addition, but not covered by these reports, are the results from academic research known as the “Oregon Experiment” that demonstrated people eligible for Medicaid but without health insurance have no worse and even better health outcomes than those utilizing Medicaid, and follow-ups that noted even when the previously uninsured begin using Medicaid they continued to utilize emergency room services for their primary care at significantly higher rates than the population – disproving a key Obamacare selling point that primary care would be more efficiently delivered if more of the uninsured were insured by Medicaid or other form of provision.