Louisiana House backs tax data review for Medicaid patients

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — House lawmakers are again trying to give Louisiana’s legislative auditor access to income tax returns to check Medicaid eligibility.

Republican Rep. Tony Bacala has proposed the idea multiple times. It failed in the Senate last year.

Bacala broadened the legislation this session, to give the auditor access to tax return data to crosscheck eligibility for state-administered programs that use an “income or asset test.” That also sweeps in the food stamp program.

Bacala described the bill as a way to combat fraud. Critics called it an attack on the poor.

Democratic Rep. Gary Carter said Republicans were inconsistent, pushing Bacala’s legislation while the GOP backed President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax records.

66-32 House vote Thursday sent the bill to the Senate.

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