How Republicans Have Used a Phony Audit to Smear Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana

Bayou Brief

By: Lamar White Jr.

On Nov. 8th, 2018, less than a month before the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) debuted their state-of-the-art system for Medicaid enrollment, a total overhaul that transformed the inefficient method in place since Edwin Edwards’ final term as governor, the state legislative auditor, Daryl Purpera, published “Medicaid Eligibility: Wage Verification Process of the Expansion Population.” According to more than a dozen healthcare policy experts and legal scholars familiar with Purpera’s report, the document, which purports to be an audit, could be described at best as earnest analysis based on misinformed speculation and, at worst, a cynical exercise in political propaganda and historical revisionism.

Tricia Brooks of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute politely yet adroitly ripped Purpera’s most recent analysis to shreds in an article she titled “Louisiana Medicaid Audit Report Misses the Mark.” Jeanie Donovan, policy director for the Louisiana Budget Project, was even more understated in her review of Purpera’s analysis; she titled her report “Five Points of Clarification on Louisiana Medicaid Audit.” (Donovan is now policy director of the Louisiana Department of Health).

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