Study: La. Medicaid expansion created 19,000 jobs, $3.5B in economic activity

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Expanding Medicaid has supplied Louisiana with more jobs and economic activity, according to an impact study released Tuesday.

The report from LSU’s Public Administration Institute — with a grant from the Louisiana Department of Health — claims that Medicaid expansion has provided 19,195 jobs statewide. Louisiana has collected more than $3.5 billion in business, state and local tax receipts as a result of the program, the findings say.

“We’re being fiscally responsible with our taxpayer resources,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards, adding that expansion has saved the state budget $317 million. “The taxpayers are seeing a tremendous return on their investment.”

Since Edwards signed off on expansion in January 2016, 486,234 people have enrolled in the program, the study notes. Medicaid provides coverage for those with income less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

More Louisiana patients have sought primary care under Medicaid expansion. Roughly 183,000 enrollees have made preventative visits, according to the report.

“This was something that was just out of reach for folks in the former system,” said state health secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee.

Screenings and diagnoses are also up, the findings indicate. Since 2016, 35,733 women in the state have been screened for breast cancer. Of them, 338 were diagnosed, including some early detections.

“They may not have to deal with what my family had to deal with, with my mother, with a late diagnosis of cancer,” Gee said. “They’ll hopefully have their wives and sisters around a lot longer.”

Other screenings, diagnoses and treatments have become more prevalent statewide as well since Medicaid expansion took effect.

  • Colon cancer: 21,037 screenings, 285 diagnoses
  • Diabetes: 6,922 diagnoses and treatments
  • Substance abuse: 18,158 adults receiving treatment (8,602 outpatient; 9,556 specialized)

The full report is available here.

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