Louisiana Budget Allocator

Approximately 20,000 Medicaid recipients and 15,000 uninsured in Louisiana are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Treating these patients offers substantial long term benefits, but would cost Louisiana $764 million. Your challenge is to fund treatment by reallocating the state budget, while balancing the tradeoffs from cutting back programs and services on which Louisiana’s residents rely.

Although the State’s total budget for FY 2016/2017 is $31.2 billion, 88% is tied directly to specific expenditures or is non-discretionary. Only 12%, or $3.6 billion is made up of discretionary items in the State General Fund (SGF). The largest discretionary line items, totaling $2.9 billion, fund healthcare and higher education programs (65% of the discretionary budget). Smaller amounts are allocated across numerous other departments; although these are available to reallocate, doing so requires additional legislative processes.

The allocator is designed to direct funds first towards the treatment of patients in Medicaid, then those who are uninsured, due to the lower cost of treatment for the former group. A discounted price of $28,000 is available to Medicaid if it gives all of its patients access to HCV treatment; the State bears 30% of this cost, while the Federal government provides 70%. It costs $41,000 to treat an uninsured patient, all of which would be borne by the State.

The funding goal to eliminate HCV in Louisiana is
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Louisiana Budget Allocator

To pay for the treatment of HCV for Louisiana’s Medicaid recipients and uninsured residents, use the sliders in the tabs below to reallocate funds from the discretionary State General Fund.

Receiving HCV Treatment
Medicaid recipients affected
Students affected
Remaining funding needed
Re-allocated budget for HCV Treatment
One-year cost offset
As the biggest line items, Healthcare and Education have minimal protection from cuts or reallocation.
To make cuts to these areas, a special legislative session must be called that includes all of the interests affected by the proposed cuts.