Bills to Expand Medicaid and Implement Obamacare Opposed by House Republicans.

(BATON ROUGE)  House Republicans are opposing bills that seek to expand Medicaid and advance the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, during the 2013 Legislative Session. 

Among the specific instruments opposed are HCR 4 (Norton), HCR 8 (Edwards), HB 110 (Norton and Jackson), HB 233 (Smith), and HB 449 (Burrell) that all call for significant expansion of the Medicaid program in the state. 

“The uncertainty regarding the fiscal impact of the Affordable Care Act and new estimates suggesting a much higher cost to the nation mean that proposals to expand Medicaid are just too risky” said Representative Taylor Barras (R – New Iberia), the Chairman of the Policy Committee.  “Not only are most Republicans concerned about what will happen with implementation of the law, but even prominent Democrats like Senator Max Baucus (D – Montana), a lead author of the Act, are expressing their fear that it will be a ‘train wreck’ for the nation” Barras concluded. 

“There is growing concern on both sides of the aisle about the impact of President Obama’s healthcare law on the nation’s budget deficit, as well as the cost to businesses and families” said Representative Lance Harris (R – Alexandria), Chairman of the House Republican Delegation.  “In opposing these bills, we thank our colleagues across the aisle for offering these bills and we respect their desire to do what they feel is right.  We won’t be able to really determine the final impact of the ACA until healthcare exchanges have been established and we have more information about what form the healthcare law will take” Harris said.  “I want to thank delegation members for expressing their strong consensus in opposition to measures that move us further down the road toward government control of healthcare” Harris concluded.

Among the concerns cited by the Delegation:

-       Medicaid expansion has a potential cost to the state of up to $1.7b over 10 years, and the cost will continue to rise.

-       The expansion of Medicaid will move up to 171,000 Louisianians off of private insurance and stop another 77,000 people from going into private insurance.

-       By expanding President Obama’s health care law, 41 percent of Louisiana’s population would be dumped into Medicaid.

-       Establishment of new Federally-Facilitated Exchanges will cover 95% of Louisiana’s uninsured without expanding Medicaid.

The House Republican Delegation is an organization devoted to supporting the work of the fifty-eight (58) Representatives who are Republicans.  The Delegation has launched a new online community for members and the public at LAHOUSEGOP.COM .