La. Senate and House Insurance Committees to hold special hearing on federal health care reform law

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Members of the Senate and House insurance committees will hold a special joint hearing on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care reform law. Lawmakers will gather information regarding the possible expansion of the Medicaid program to provide health care services to more Louisianians and the operation of a health insurance exchange program to offer affordable health insurance coverage. The goal is to provide a forum for a reasoned, frank discussion of all of the issues involved.

As Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, chairman of the Senate Committee on Insurance, explains, "Despite much speculation to the contrary over the last several years, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. We want to hear from all of those involved on all sides of the issue to help us determine what is the right thing to do for Louisiana and our citizens when it comes to deciding how to implement the health care reforms in our state. There is too much at stake not to do otherwise."

Sen. Morrish says the lawmakers plan on hearing from non-partisan groups on what the federal health care reform does and does not do. Those in support and opposition to fully implementing the federal law in Louisiana will also have say. The goal is to collect information. There will be no votes taken on the health care proposals.

"We want to hear from everyone. We will ask the hard questions and we expect clear, detailed responses to those questions," Sen. Morrish said.

Full implementation of the federal health care reform law is set for 2014. The special legislative hearing is set for Wednesday, March 13, 2013 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in House Committee Room 5 in the basement of the state capitol.