Today, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) announced the completion of a report by a team of researchers led by economist Dr. Jim Richardson of the Public Administration Institute at Louisiana State University (LSU) highlighting the economic impact of Medicaid expansion. The report, Medicaid Expansion and the Louisiana Economy, shows that for state fiscal year 2018, Medicaid expansion continues to provide thousands of jobs statewide. Using additional data for this latest report, expansion is currently supporting more than 14,000 jobs across the state and supporting $889 million in personal earnings.
The LSU research team found that for both state fiscal year 2018 and 2019, the new federal spending in Louisiana due to expansion would be $1.7 billion. These dollars are spent across the state and impact communities from New Orleans to Shreveport; from Lake Charles to Monroe; and from Lafayette to Ruston. The researchers expect this level of economic impact to continue as long as Medicaid expansion remains in place.
This report builds on a 2018 report by the same team of researchers that examined the impact of expansion for the 2017 state fiscal year, the first year of expansion. Even when taking the most conservative methodological approach, one which assumes that all people with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level who left the market exchange subsequently joined Medicaid expansion, the researchers found that Medicaid expansion is a significant boon to the Louisiana economy. The researchers also point out that improved labor force participation rates should be one of the long-term impacts of Medicaid expansion, because when people have access to appropriate health care they are more likely to be in the workforce.
The research team also did a literature review of similar studies from other states, all of which found similar positive effects. The literature review is available here.
This study adds to the large body of research showing positive results from expansion in Louisiana and across the country, including:
- Lives saved. (National study, National Bureau of Economic Research)
- Improved access to care. (Louisiana study, Tulane University)
- Rural hospitals kept open (National study, HealthAffairs)
- Uninsured rate cut in half (Louisiana study, Louisiana State University)
- Increased access to opioid addiction treatment (National study, Urban Institute)
The Kaiser Family Foundation also recently conducted a review of hundreds of Medicaid expansion studies, highlighting many of these and other positive impacts.
The full LSU Public Administration Institute report is available by clicking here