Louisiana Budget Project hosting health care town halls


Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators at a March event to support the Affordable Care Act.

With few (if any) public appearances and community meetings held by Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, public policy and fiscal analysis group the Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) will host a series of informational town halls to discuss and answer questions about the U.S. Senate's proposed health bill.

The LBP will host two town halls in the New Orleans area — one in New Orleans East this Thursday, July 13, and another in Metairie at the Jefferson Parish Library on W. Napoleon Avenue on July 18.
The Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act is estimated to cut Medicaid — which has signed on more than 436,000 people in Louisiana since its expansion in 2016 — by more than $770 billion by 2026. Gov. John Bel Edwards estimates the bill would force the state to increase costs to keep the expanded Medicaid program up to $250 million a year by 2022, or "end expansion outright," ending care plans for the anticipated 540,000 Louisianans insured through Medicaid by 2020.

The number of uninsured people in the U.S. will likely climb to 22 million.

A report released this week by the The Commonwealth Fund also estimates the bill could force the loss of more than 22,000 jobs in Louisiana and more than $3 billion in the state's business output over the next decade.

Cassidy said the bill is likely "dead" as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to delay a vote and negotiate a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Cassidy — who has cast only some doubt over the Senate bill — rated the chances of broader legislation passing at "50-50," though reports today suggest a Louisiana-specific compromise could be in the works, likely primed for a "yes" vote from Cassidy.

See the full list of town hall locations below.

Tuesday, July 11
6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Lafayette Public Library, 6101 Johnston St., Lafayette

Thursday, July 13
6 p.m.-8 p.m.
NOELA Community Health Center, 13085 Chef Menteur Highway

Monday, July 17
4 p.m.-5 p.m.
Sulphur Regional Library, 1160 Cypress St., Sulphur

Tuesday, July 18
6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Jefferson Parish Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie

Wednesday, July 19
5p.m.-6 p.m.
East Baton Rouge Parish Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge

Monday, July 24
1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.
Opelousas-Eunice Public Library, 212 E. Grolee St., Opelousas

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