Edwards sets July 1 date for planned Medicaid expansion
BATON ROUGE - Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards has set an ambitious timeline for a Medicaid expansion, saying he wants to have government-funded health insurance cards in thousands more people's hands by July 1.
To make that happen, his new health care leader says Louisiana will have to hire an estimated 248 new health department employees to handle the enrollment and find the dollars to pay them, in a state saddled with budget problems.
Incoming Health and Hospitals Secretary Rebekah Gee also says the new administration will have to work with health care providers to ensure they're willing to see the new Medicaid patients.
Edwards, who takes office Monday, said he would issue an executive order next week that starts the work required to expand Medicaid as allowed under the federal health care law.