PAR releases research brief on Medicaid expansion, urges review

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana on Tuesday issued a research brief on Medicaid expansion, recommending that the state conduct "a more thorough analysis" of the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid coverage for uninsured adults under the Affordable Care Act.

PAR officials, in a Tuesday news release on the brief, said key factors have not been considered in previous studies.

"PAR again recommends that the Legislature provide greater input and guidance into the decision of whether to participate in the Medicaid expansion. PAR has previously recommended that the Legislature establish a special committee or commission to provide oversight and verification of the state's Medicaid healthcare program implementation," the release states.

PAR also maintains that Gov. Bobby Jindal should explain his alternative path for healthcare coverage for the state's uninsured if he chooses not to expand Medicaid.

"The governor has laid out some broad policy ideas for reforming Medicaid. If he has specific policy requests for flexibility under ACA and has not formally sought approval, he should make those requests to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If an alternative plan to Medicaid expansion can be tailored to Louisiana, it deserves the public's consideration," the release states.

PAR President Robert Travis Scott said there are positive and negative consequences either way and all should be mulled.

"A new analysis could help us better understand those trade-offs and give us a better estimate than we have now about the ultimate impact of this new health care program," Scott said.

You can view the full brief here:

PAR is an independent, nonprofit research organization, according to the council's website.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.