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Should rising Medicaid costs concern taxpayers?

Gov. John Bel Edwards is proposing to add more dollars to the DHH budget for Medicaid if lawmakers support tax increases on business. However, the House Appropriations Committee is resistant to that idea because of their concern over the growth in Medicaid; why are they concerned?
The American Press just released an article titled “The financial realities of Medicaid” that discusses a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and provides the answer to our legislators concern with the following:
— In 2015 (the latest year where numbers are available) U.S. taxpayers paid $532 billion for Medicaid — and the CBO projects that Medicaid spending will increase 112.4 percent to $598 billion in 2017 — and will increase another 184 percent over the following ten years to $1.1 trillion by 2027.
— All taxpayers pay taxes at both the federal and state levels, and so the funding for Medicaid comes out of the pockets of the same taxpayers.
Translation of the above facts to Louisiana taxpayers, we have the following picture painted:
— In 2015 Louisiana paid $8.06 billion for Medicaid — Louisiana taxpayers portion (the match rate) was 38 percent, or $3.06 billion — which is projected to increase 112.4 percent to $3.44 billion in 2017 — and will increase another 184 percent to $6.33 billion by 2027.
Lawmakers are concerned because our Medicaid cost were $1.7 billion in 2008 — $3.1 billion in 2015 — and projected to be $6.3 billion by 2027. Should Louisiana taxpayers be concerned?
Steve Gardes, CPA
Lafayette

Eunice Today

465 Aymond St.
Eunice, LA 70535
Phone: 337-457-3061
Fax: 337-457-3122