DHH chief: report on Medicaid and economy ‘fallacy'

by Leslie Turk

The state's top health official attacks not only the Louisiana Budget Project's Medicaid report but also the "liberal" organization itself.

Louisiana's top health official, Bruce Greenstein is attacking a report by the Louisiana Budget Project that ties economic suffering with cuts in eligibility and payments to Medicaid providers. And he has a few choice words for LBP itself.

In Friday's Alexandria Town Talk, Greenstein, rather than simply take issue with the study or its methodology, went after the LBP, calling the group "liberal" and accusing it of "making the same tired case for raising taxes and maintaining the status quo that has gotten us 49th in health outcomes."

Secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Greenstein said it's a "fallacy to say reductions in Medicaid rates impact the economy."

The LBP maintains that Louisiana's Medicaid program is more than a critical source of health care for poor families, pregnant women, children and people with disabilities. Its report finds that Medicaid, which is funded by state and federal governments, also plays a key role in creating jobs and building a strong economy. The report concludes that legislators should resist cutting providers' payments for the good of residents' health and the state's economy.

Calling itself independent and nonpartisan, the LBP monitors and reports on state government spending and how it affects the state's low and moderate-income families.

Access the full report here and read more on Greenstein's reaction to it here.