Louisiana Modeling Plan Based On Arkansas Private Option

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 48 views 

It looks like our neighbors to the south are seeking to take a cue from the Arkansas legislature in modeling a health care plan similar to the Arkansas private option plan.  The bill cleared a Senate committee yesterday that would use the federal funds for the expansion of Medicaid to pay for a federal subsidize private plan.

From The Times-Picayune

An amended version of the bill, which was passed unopposed by the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, dramatically changed the bill’s language so the measure implements a similar version of the health care overhaul wending its way through the Arkansas Legislature.

Termed the “Louisiana Health Care Independence Program” in the amendment, the changes would require the state Department of Health and Hospitals request a federal waiver to “pay premiums and supplemental cost-sharing subsidies directly to the federally qualified health plans” for eligible residents.

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the fact that other states want to do the same thing Arkansas is doing is a positive sign for the Arkansas Plan.  One key difference between Arkansas and Louisiana is that Gov. Bobby Jindal and his administration oppose the plan, while Gov. Beebe supported the idea in Arkansas.

“We certainly don’t feel like those other programs are going to necessarily offer the cost-savings that are being promoted by some of those other states,” (Jindal’s Health Secretary) Kliebert said of the Arkansas model, which would also use the federal dollars to subsidize private insurance plans.

But the bill has passed out of committee and now heads to the full Senate.

State lawmakers in Nebraska and Oklahoma have also said they are studying whether to adopt a similar plan to the Arkansas Plan.