La. governor starts process to expand Medicaid: 5 things to know

New Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has signed an executive order to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to report from The New York Times.

Here are five things to know about the decision.

1. The governor signed the executive order shortly after taking office. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) staunchly opposed Medicaid expansion.

2. Under the expansion, 298,000 uninsured adults in Louisiana will be eligible for Medicaid, according to The New York Times, which cites an analysis last year by the state's Legislative Fiscal Office. Additionally, 224,000 other adults with private insurance would also be eligible.

3. Expanded Medicaid coverage is expected to take effect July 1.

4. In talking about the decision, Gov. Edwards cited poverty and health in the state. "We are consistently ranked one of the poorest and unhealthiest states, and this cycle will not be broken as long as anyone in Louisiana has to choose between their health and their financial security," he said Tuesday at a signing event at the Louisiana Capitol, according to The New York Times. He added, "This will not only afford them [Louisianans who will be eligible for Medicaid] peace of mind but also to help prevent them from slipping further into poverty and give them a fighting chance for a better life."

5. Republicans control both houses of the Louisiana Legislature. However, the governor can make changes to healthcare policy unilaterally, and Medicaid expansion falls under that, Travis Scott, the president of nonpartisan policy group Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana told The New York Times. The Louisiana Legislature could potentially find ways to disrupt or block Medicaid expansion, although Mr. Scott noted he hasn't seen strong indications that will happen.

 

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