More news on the out of control Medicaid spending within states keeps rolling out. This one is out of Louisiana. Politicians there are starting to get worried and rightly so. Even though 74% of the state program is funded with federal dollars, the program is taking over any budget restraint leaving the state politicians helpless. This will happen to other states as well.
Here’s more from Nola.com:
Spending on Medicaid is likely to make up close to half of Louisiana’s total state operating budget in the next fiscal cycle, though most of the money will come from the federal government and not state tax dollars.
The Medicaid program is expected to cost the state around $13.4 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1 — approximately 50 percent of the $28.6 billion state budget proposal Gov. John Bel Edwards‘ administration has outlined.
Louisiana’s Medicaid funding has increased significantly since Edwards expanded Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act last year. Federal funding for the Louisiana Department of Health went from $5.9 billion in the last budget cycle to $8.3 billion in the current state budget, mostly because of Medicaid expansion. It is expected to go up to $10.1 billion in the next budget cycle, again primarily because of Medicaid expansion, according to the Louisiana House budget staff.
“Medicaid does nothing but grow,” said Jeff Reynolds, deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, during a budget hearing Wednesday (April 5).
“We can’t control our costs. We’re growing out of control,” said state Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, at the same budget hearing.